Peter Thiel won’t be buying Gawker after all.
The billionaire investor who helped bankrupt the once-mighty gossip empire reached an agreement Wednesday with an administrator for the company’s remaining assets to withdraw his bid to purchase the website — and its story archive, the Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday.
Thiel’s public musings about buying the property he helped destroy had been fiercely opposed by team Gawker and many media critics who feared he would delete the website’s archives if he gained control of them.
Thiel did not immediately respond to request for comment from TheWrap.
The conservative Silicon Valley titan famously bankrolled Hulk Hogan’s invasion of privacy lawsuit against Gawker after the website published a sex tape between Hogan and the wife of his then-best friend Bubba the Love Sponge.
The years-long effort eventually succeeded in destroying Gawker Media. While Univision ultimately purchased Gawker’s suite of sites, including Gizmodo, Jezebel and others, the media company passed on acquiring Gawker.com over fears about its legal liability.
The flagship of Gawker Media has remained dormant on the Internet since 2016 and its assets have been managed by the the long suffering Gawker administrator, William Holden — a manager director of the consulting firm Dacarba. Holden has been charged with finding a buyer so he can finally unload Gawker’s remaining assets once and for all.
The process remains murky, but with Thiel out of the picture, the field is clear for a less high-dollar bidder to potentially have a shot at securing the news website.