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Univision Wins Auction to Buy Gawker Media

TV network set to pay $135 million for media company if the deal is approved

Univision has won the auction to acquire Gawker Media, TheWrap has learned.

The company will pay $135 million for Gawker after placing the only other bid in the auction for the media company besides Ziff Davis’ $90 million stalking-horse bid. Univision will also owe a $2.47 million breakup fee to Davis.

A bankruptcy court judge still needs to approve the deal before it is finalized, but an individual with knowledge of the situation told TheWrap that it is expected to close by Aug. 18.

“Gawker Media Group has agreed this evening to sell our business and popular brands to Univision, one of America’s largest media companies that is rapidly assembling the leading digital media group for millennial and multicultural audiences,” Gawker owner Nick Denton said in a statement. “I am pleased that our employees are protected and will continue their work under new ownership — disentangled from the legal campaign against the company. We could not have picked an acquirer more devoted to vibrant journalism.”

The move continues a push into the digital space for Univision, which has primarily been known as the country’s largest Spanish-language broadcaster, but recently bought a minority stake in The Onion and acquired The Root, a publication aimed at African-Americans.

In March, a jury awarded Hulk Hogan a total of $140 million after Gawker published portions of a sex tape featuring the wrestler and the then-wife of his close friend, Todd “Bubba the Love Sponge” Clem. After awarding Hogan $115 million in damages, the jury tacked on another $25 million in punitive damages.

Gawker filed for bankruptcy following the judgment, which has also impacted the personal finances of Denton, who recently filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.