Gawker on Reports of Possible Sale: ‘Everyone Take a Breath’

Gawker downplayed reports that it is getting ready for a sale in a statement sent to media Thursday. The online media company admitted that it had recently hired investment banker Mark Patricof of Houlihan Lokey, which first had been reported by the New York Post Thursday.

However, Gawker said that it had “bankers engaged for quite some time” to raise capital for its legal struggles. “Everyone take a breath,” the statement read, concluding: “Nothing is new.”

Gawker has been under pressure ever since wrestler Hulk Hogan sued the online media company for publishing a sex tape depicting him. Hogan won his lawsuit in March, with a jury awarding him $140 million in damages. The court that handed down this original verdict refused to reduce those damages Wednesday, setting the stage for what could be a lengthy and costly appeal.

In an unexpected twist, Forbes revealed earlier this week that Hogan’s lawsuit had been secretly funded by Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Thiel, who was outed as gay by Gawker years ago.

Thiel initially didn’t comment on the matter, but acknowledged in the New York Times late Wednesday that he had in fact been Hogan’s secret benefactor. “It’s less about revenge and more about specific deterrence,” Thiel told the Times, arguing that he wanted to stop Gawker from harming others in the way the outlet had harmed him.

Thiel, who co-founded Paypal and was an early investor in Facebook, apparently hired a team of lawyers some years ago to look for potential cases against Gawker. The media company is currently facing two other lawsuits from subjects of its reporting, but Thiel didn’t want to comment on whether he is bankrolling these cases as well.

Gawker launched in 2002. The company generated a reported $45 million in revenue in 2014, with profits coming in at $6.7 million. The company was entirely self-funded until taking a minority investment from Russian investment firm Columbus Nova in January.

More Digital

  • Abu Dhabi skyline seen from the

    Image Nation Abu Dhabi, U.K. Studio Alchemy VR Team for Immersive Content

    Gawker downplayed reports that it is getting ready for a sale in a statement sent to media Thursday. The online media company admitted that it had recently hired investment banker Mark Patricof of Houlihan Lokey, which first had been reported by the New York Post Thursday. However, Gawker said that it had “bankers engaged for quite some time” […]

  • David Spiegel - Inverse

    Media Startup Inverse Hires David Spiegel, Ex-CNN and BuzzFeed Sales Exec

    Gawker downplayed reports that it is getting ready for a sale in a statement sent to media Thursday. The online media company admitted that it had recently hired investment banker Mark Patricof of Houlihan Lokey, which first had been reported by the New York Post Thursday. However, Gawker said that it had “bankers engaged for quite some time” […]

  • shazam

    Apple to Acquire Shazam for About $400 Million (Report)

    Gawker downplayed reports that it is getting ready for a sale in a statement sent to media Thursday. The online media company admitted that it had recently hired investment banker Mark Patricof of Houlihan Lokey, which first had been reported by the New York Post Thursday. However, Gawker said that it had “bankers engaged for quite some time” […]

  • Google Home entryway

    Google Looking to Add Multi-Touch to Next-Gen Google Home Hardware (EXCLUSIVE)

    Gawker downplayed reports that it is getting ready for a sale in a statement sent to media Thursday. The online media company admitted that it had recently hired investment banker Mark Patricof of Houlihan Lokey, which first had been reported by the New York Post Thursday. However, Gawker said that it had “bankers engaged for quite some time” […]

  • Trolls

    'Trolls' Leaps from TV to Top of DVD Sales Chart

    Gawker downplayed reports that it is getting ready for a sale in a statement sent to media Thursday. The online media company admitted that it had recently hired investment banker Mark Patricof of Houlihan Lokey, which first had been reported by the New York Post Thursday. However, Gawker said that it had “bankers engaged for quite some time” […]

  • Daniel Ek Spotify

    Spotify, China's Tencent Music Unit Agree to Invest in Each Other

    Gawker downplayed reports that it is getting ready for a sale in a statement sent to media Thursday. The online media company admitted that it had recently hired investment banker Mark Patricof of Houlihan Lokey, which first had been reported by the New York Post Thursday. However, Gawker said that it had “bankers engaged for quite some time” […]

  • Amazon Music Unlimited logo

    Amazon’s Streaming Service Launches in 28 New Countries

    Gawker downplayed reports that it is getting ready for a sale in a statement sent to media Thursday. The online media company admitted that it had recently hired investment banker Mark Patricof of Houlihan Lokey, which first had been reported by the New York Post Thursday. However, Gawker said that it had “bankers engaged for quite some time” […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content