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Univision Says It’s Exploring Sale of Former Gawker Sites and The Onion

Univision Communications is officially looking to unload the Gizmodo Media Group — which mostly comprises the sites it acquired in the bankruptcy auction of Gawker Media — and its stake in comedy and entertainment publisher The Onion.

The Hispanic media company said Tuesday that it has initiated a formal process to explore the sale of the Gizmodo Media Group (GMG) and The Onion, in which Univision owns a controlling stake.

“The company determined that pursuing a sale of GMG and The Onion collectively will allow UCI to focus on its core assets and further strengthen UCI’s position as the No. 1 media company serving U.S. Hispanics, while enabling both GMG and The Onion even greater opportunities to grow under new ownership,” Univision said in a statement.

The GMG digital portfolio includes Gizmodo, Jezebel, Deadspin, Lifehacker, Splinter, The Root, Kotaku, Earther and Jalopnik and The Onion portfolio includes, The Onion, Clickhole, The A.V. Club and The Takeout.

In August of 2016, Univision paid $135 million for the Gawker assets in a bankruptcy auction,which didn’t include the currently dormant Gawker.com. Univision acquired a 40% stake in The Onion in January 2017.

Last week, the Wall Street Journal had reported that Univision was seeking a buyer for Fusion Media Group, which includes GMG and The Onion.

The proposed sale of Gizmodo Media Group and The Onion stake comes after Univision pulled its plans for an initial public offering this past March. CEO Randy Falco announced he would be retiring a day later. Univision is now led by broadcast-TV veteran Vince Sadusky, who took the helm June 1.

Gizmodo Media Group CEO Raju Narisetti left the company this spring, after the ex-News Corp exec had spent about a year and a half with Univision. Also leaving the company were Fusion Media Group CEO Felipe Holguin and president and chief content officer Daniel Eilemberg.

In its announcement Tuesday, Univision said it has engaged Morgan Stanley as financial adviser to assist in the sales process of GMG and The Onion.

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