What: Univision has won the auction for Gawker Media after placing a winning bid of US$135 million. The offer includes all seven of Gawker Media’s sites, including Gawker.com.
Why it matters: This is the first acquisition of a major digital media property by Univision, perhaps together with the purchase of a controlling stake in The Onion earlier this year. Univision is the largest Hispanic targeted media company which until a few years ago only catered to Spanish-dominant Hispanics. Gawker is also one of the first acquisitions that does not have a purely multicultural profile. Univision is trying to sell its stock in a public offering (IPO) in a market where traditional broadcasters have lost value. By acquiring Gawker, Univision is trying to positively impact the growth prospects for the company.
Univision has won the auction for Gawker Media after placing a winning bid of US$135 million for the bankrupt blog network, according to a person familiar with the deal. The offer includes all seven of Gawker Media’s sites, including Gawker.com
“We have completed the bid process and we anticipate the court finalizing the order on August 18th. We are not commenting further at this point,” a spokeswoman at Univision tells Portada.
Gawker had declared bankruptcy after losing a US$140 million lawsuit to former pro wrestler Hulk Hogan and Peter Thiel. A federal bankruptcy court judge will approve the final sale Thursday.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. Ziff Davis,which has originally offered US$90 million, and Univision were the only two bidders for Gawker.
“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,” said Gawker Media owner Nick Denton in a statement.
Fusion Media Group
Univision, which until recently was best known as a Spanish-language TV network, has been expanding its digital reach by growing and acquiring a collection of brands, including its interests in Fusion and El Rey as well as The Root, The Onion, A.V. Club, Clickhole, Starwipe, Flama, Univision Digital and Univision Music. All these assets are now part of The Fusion Media Group (FMG). It is likely that Gawker will become a part of Fusion Media Group. Univision is building a diversified media company in The Fusion Media Group, and Gawker Media’s brands speak to a younger, tech-savvy audience.
WATCH Gawker’s Nick Denton speak at the 2013 edition of the Portada LatAm Summit (PortadaLat).
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