Gawker 'exploring sale’ after payout to Hulk Hogan ordered
Gawker Media, the New York-based owner of online news and gossip website Gawker.com, is exploring a sale following a court ruling that it pay US$140 million (NZ$207 million) to wrestler Hulk Hogan over the publication of a sex tape, the New York Post is reporting.
The Post, citing sources, on Thursday said at least one party had expressed interest in the company, with a potential deal value of between US$50 million and US$70 million.
Gawker, which also owns popular blogs such as Gizmodo, Jezebel and Kotaku, was not immediately available for comment.
The Wall Street Journal later also reported that Gawker, founded and run by Nick Denton, had hired investment banker Mark Patricof of Houlihan Lokey to explore strategic options, including a sale.
A six-person jury in March awarded US$60 million to Mr Hogan, whose real name is Terry Bollea, for emotional distress and US$55 million for economic damages.
Hulk Hogan (Reuters file)
The jury then slapped another US$25 million in punitive damages on the company and Mr Denton.
Mr Hogan sued the website for posting a video clip in 2012 featuring him having sex with the wife of his then-best friend, the radio shock jock Bubba the Love Sponge Clem.
He testified that he did not know their consensual tryst was being recorded when it occurred nearly a decade ago.