Spanish-language broadcaster saves Gawker from bankruptcy

Univision places a winning bid of $135 million...

Spanish-language broadcaster saves Gawker from bankruptcy

Chris Carlson / AP

Univision Holding Inc have bought the controversial and in-trouble digital publisher Gawker Media at a bankruptcy auction.

Primarily known for its broadcast network which serves Latin Americans, Univision paid $135 million for the company. 

It fended off competition from media company Ziff Davis, which had made an initial offer of $90m and was the only other bidder. An investment banker representing Gawker told a court that he had a list of 40 potential buyers last month.

Univision's purchase, which is set to go before a US bankruptcy judge on Thursday, shows how keen the company is to expand its digital media portfolio and court a millennial audience. 

Gawker also includes women's website Jezebel, sports site Deadspin and automobile site Jalopnik.

Founder Nick Denton said in a statement that Gawker "could not have picked an acquirer more devoted to vibrant journalism."

"I am pleased that our employees are protected," he continued, "and will continue their work under new ownership – disentangled from the legal campaign against the company."

Gawker filed for bankruptcy in June after pro wrestling legend Hulk Hogan (pictured) won a $140m lawsuit against the company for publishing sex tape footage.

Hogan – real name Terry Bollea – was backed financial by Peter Thiel, the billionaire co-founder of PayPal.

Gawker had published an article about Thiel's homosexuality in 2007. 

Thiel had stated that he wanted to end Gawker's "bullying". The Univision deal will mean the website is likely to continue operating relatively unscathed.

Denton himself sought personal bankruptcy to secure protection from the judgement earlier this month. He had been set to take up a consultancy position with Ziff Davis if they had purchased Gawker, but whether he will have a similar deal with Univision is unclear.