Gawker Media files for bankruptcy
Company files for Chapter 11 to protect assets from seizure by Hulk Hogan
Gawker Media parent company Gawker Media Group, Inc. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Friday, in order to protect its assets from seizure by former professional wrestler Hulk Hogan.
In March, Hogan won a $140.1 million judgment against Gawker Media, CEO Nick Denton and former Gawker.com editor A.J. Daulerio. Following the trial, Gawker asked the presiding judge, Pamela Campbell, to either reduce the judgment or issue a routine stay to give them time to appeal the judgment. In May, Campbell upheld the full amount of the judgment. On Friday morning, she denied Gawker's request for a stay.
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In response, Gawker filed for Chapter 11, triggering a bankruptcy auction. POLITICO has learned that Ziff Davis, the owner of PC Mag, has agreed to an opening bid in the $90 million to $100 million range and other bids are expected.
Though it's filing for bankruptcy, Gawker has no plans to cease its operations. The company will continue to operate as normal while the bankruptcy process proceeds and it appeals the Hogan judgment.
The money for the sale will be put in escrow while Gawker appeals the Hogan case. If the $140.1 million judgment is upheld on appeal, then the money held in escrow will go to Hogan. If the judgment is overturned on appeal, then the money held in escrow will be returned to Denton and the company's other shareholders.