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Peter Thiel reportedly makes bid on Gawker assets amid bankruptcy

Bloomberg logoBloomberg 1/12/2018 Lizette Chapman
Peter Thiel, co-founder of PayPal Inc., speaks during a news conference at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. Thiel, the Silicon Valley entrepreneur and Donald Trump supporter, endorsed him at the Republican National Convention and is planning to donate $1.25 million to Trump's campaign.: Silicon Valley Entrepreneur Peter Thiel Delivers Election Speech© Bloomberg/Bloomberg Silicon Valley Entrepreneur Peter Thiel Delivers Election Speech

Peter Thiel made an offer to purchase some assets of Gawker Media LLC, the news and gossip site he helped bankrupt in 2016 by secretly funding a lawsuit, said a person familiar with the offer.

Although media company Univision Holdings Inc. purchased many of Gawker’s assets in 2016, the site’s archives, including stories about Thiel himself, are still for sale. Key among Gawker’s assets is a potential claim against Thiel. Bankruptcy law gives creditors the right to investigate how value was destroyed and, if the evidence supports it, bring lawsuits to recoup losses. If Thiel is successful in his bid, he could halt such action as the new owner. It’s unclear how much he offered.

Thiel declined to comment through a spokesman, and legal representatives for Gawker didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment. Reuters reported on Thiel’s bid earlier Thursday.

The move marks the latest chapter in Thiel’s bizarre history with the site. Nearly a decade after a Gawker story outed the venture capitalist as gay, he secretly bankrolled a lawsuit by former professional wrestler Hulk Hogan against the site for publishing a sex tape. Hogan, whose real name is Terry Bollea, won the suit with a $140 million judgement, toppling the site.

Gawker’s legal team has tried to block Thiel from bidding for the assets, and a judge ruled in November that his interest in buying the company couldn’t stop a probe into potential lawsuits against him from going forward.

Meanwhile, Thiel has been exploring the creation of a news publication targeting conservatives.


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