Gawker Media’s Sale Plan Gets Court Approval

by San Antonio Attorney

Gawker Media’s sale plan has been approved by a U.S.  bankruptcy court judge on July 7, 2016.  This allows the online media company to start an auction that is likely to draw many bidders.

A bankruptcy case was filed by Gawker in June 2016 to protect itself from a judgment worth $140 million from Hulk Hogan, whose real name is Terry Gene Bollea.

Ziff Davis is the stalking horse bidder, offering $90 million to acquire the digital publisher.

Based on court papers filed, Gawker could not accept offers to buy the company pending judge Stuart Bernstein’s approval of the auction’s mechanics.  This includes the proposal of Ziff Davis.

Gawker’s investment bank representative Reid Snellenbarger told the bankruptcy court that they have about 40 buyers that believe will be interested to acquire to Gawker.  The firm is searching a higher bid than Ziff Davis’.

According to Snellenbarger, they already talked about marketing Gawker to potential buyers before the company filed a bankruptcy petition.  The potential buyers would not want to give an offer yet, but would take part in the auction.

The deadline of bidding is Aug.  15, with a sale slated on Aug.  16, according to Gawker’s attorney Gregg Galardi.

At first, Bernstein did not agree with the short time that Gawker’s investment bankers allotted trying to look for a buyer prior to bankruptcy, and said he was concerned about the advantages Gawker provided to Ziff Davis in the sale agreement.  He did not approve of the proposed procedures of the sale.

But Galardi argued that turning down the process Gawker had planned would cause dismay in the company, and advertisers would abandon it.

To resolve the issue brought up by the bankruptcy judge, the lawyers of Gawker and Ziff Davis conducted a quick discussion outside the court.  They came up with a new arrangement where Ziff Davis will be given limited protections.

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