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Univision is buying Gawker Media for $135 million


Gawker founder Nick Denton
Gawker founder Nick Denton
Pool/Getty Images
Peter Kafka covers media and technology, and their intersection, at Vox. Many of his stories can be found in his Kafka on Media newsletter, and he also hosts the Recode Media podcast.

Univision has won the auction for Gawker Media.

The TV network and digital publisher has agreed to pay $135 million for the bankrupt blog network, according to a person familiar with the deal.

Univision’s offer will encompass all seven of Gawker Media’s sites, including

Ziff Davis and Univision were the only two bidders for Gawker, which filed for bankruptcy after Hulk Hogan and Peter Thiel won a $140 million judgment in a privacy case. Ziff Davis had originally offered $90 million for Gawker Media.

Here's a statement from Gawker Media owner Nick Denton: "Gawker Media Group has agreed this evening to sell our business and popular brands to Univision, one of America’s largest media companies that is rapidly assembling the leading digital media group for millennial and multicultural audiences. I am pleased that our employees are protected and will continue their work under new ownership — disentangled from the legal campaign against the company. We could not have picked an acquirer more devoted to vibrant journalism."

Mark Patricof, the Houlihan Lokey banker who represented Gawker Media, confirmed the sale price.

"The outcome exceeded our expectations. Both parties put in an awful lot of work, and Ziff Davis deserves credit for their effort," Patricof said. "But ultimately Univision prevailed, and both sides are happy with the outcome."

The deal won’t be official for a bit. For starters, a U.S. bankruptcy court judge needs to sign off on the transaction. When it is final, the judgment funds will be set aside while Gawker appeals its court case; eventually the money will go to the side that wins.

Whatever the result of the case, the auction is a disappointing conclusion for Denton, who founded the company in 2002.

Last year, as rival media companies like Vice, BuzzFeed and Vox Media (which owns this site) were raising money at increasingly high valuations, Denton was arguing that his company was worth $250 million or more.

Univision, which until recently was best known as a Spanish-language TV network, has been expanding its digital reach in recent years by acquiring satire site The Onion and The Root, a publication aimed at African-Americans.

And earlier this year it picked up full ownership of Fusion, the network and digital publisher aimed at millennials, which it originally launched in conjunction with Disney.

Nick Denton discusses the Hulk Hogan sex tape in June

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