By Jessica DiNapoli
NEWYORK (Reuters) – Marketing company Didit has made an offer of $1.1 million (£829,767) for defunct news gossip website Gawker, an initial proposal that will set the floor for higher bids in a bankruptcy auction, according to a filing made on Tuesday.
Gawker has been searching for a buyer after settling in May with billionaire venture capitalist Peter Thiel on legal issues that arose during its bankruptcy. In the settlement, Thiel, who funded a privacy lawsuit that drove Gawker into bankruptcy, agreed to drop his bid for the site and abandon legal claims against any eventual buyer.
Other bids for Gawker are due July 9, and an auction will be held on July 12, according to the filing. Long Island-based Didit also plans to keep Gawker’s archives live.
Didit had been interested in acquiring Gawker since January.
The marketing company said it planned to re-brand Gawker as “Gawker For Good,” reporting positive news and channelling 50 percent of net advertising revenue to non-profits selected by readers and the creators of the content on the site.
The “Gawker For Good” site would cover entertainment, sports, gaming and celebrity news, the marketing company said.
“We’ve been advising clients that storytelling is critical for marketing success, so it makes sense for us to own a platform that is all about storytelling,” David Pasternack, Didit co-founder and chief executive said in a statement.
In 2012 Thiel helped fund a lawsuit filed by professional wrestler and actor Hulk Hogan against Gawker after it published a video showing Hogan, whose real name is Terry Bollea, engaged in a sexual encounter. Bollea won a $140 million judgement against Gawker, leading to its bankruptcy.
(Reporting by Jessica DiNapoli)