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01/11/2018 04:24 pm ET Updated Jan 11, 2018

Peter Thiel Has Reportedly Made Offer To Buy Gawker, The Site He Helped Shutter

The news was first reported by Reuters, which did not specify Thiel's motivations.

Peter Thiel has made an offer to purchase Gawker, according to a Reuters report published Thursday.

The venture capitalist has not revealed why he wants the now-inactive celebrity and media gossip site, though Reuters notes that should Thiel acquire Gawker, he’d have the ability to remove stories still accessible on the site. 

Thiel famously helped Terry Bollea, the former wrestler better known as Hulk Hogan, by bankrolling his lawsuit against Gawker in 2016 after the site published Hogan’s sex tape. The suit won Hogan a $140 million judgment against the site, which was later settled for $31 million, and ultimately shuttered the operation entirely. Thiel had long had animosity toward Gawker after the site outed him as gay in an article in 2007. 

Peter Thiel discusses his support for Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump at the National Press Club in Washington,
SAUL LOEB via Getty Images
Peter Thiel discusses his support for Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., Oct. 31, 2016.

Since then, most of Gawker’s assets were purchased by Univision Holdings Inc., including the sites Deadspin and Jezebel. The remaining assets on the Gawker.com site ― domain names and nearly 200,000 archived articles ― are at auction, open to prospective buyers like Thiel.

Currently, court papers have indicated that Gawker’s bankruptcy plan administrator Will Holden, of consulting firm Dacarba LLC, and the website’s bankruptcy attorney Gregg Galardi, of law firm Ropes & Gray LLP, are attempting to block Thiel’s bid.

Holden told Reuters he will select a winner “as soon as this month,” and the decision will then be sent to a U.S. bankruptcy court judge for final approval. Should Holden exclude Thiel’s bid for the site, Thiel can still ask the judge to reconsider.

News of Thiel’s bid comes just on the heels of a failed Kickstarter campaign to resurrect Gawker.com, which expired on Tuesday. The Gawker Foundation, a nonprofit created by former staffers, had launched the campaign last month in an attempt to raise $500,000 to purchase and relaunch the site.

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