SOURCE: New York Post
Gawker could make a comeback soon
Will Gawker.com enjoy a second coming?
A year after Univision bought the sister websites of the snarky gossip blog for $135 million, the bankruptcy estate is quietly shopping Gawker.com around to potential buyers.
When Gawker Media Group — the umbrella company holding sites like Jezebel and Deadspin — was auctioned off in August 2016, none of the bidders wanted Gawker.com because they considered it a toxic asset.
That spring, legendary wrestler Hulk Hogan won a $140 million verdict against Gawker for publishing his unauthorized sex tape. Gawker and its founder, Nick Denton, filed for bankruptcy shortly after the record-setting verdict.
A brochure from consulting firm Dacarba — which is handling the sale — touts an audience of 12 million viewers, 2 million social media followers and $6.5 million in revenue in 2015. William Holden, managing partner at Dacarba, said he expects a floor bid in the next six to eight weeks.
There’s no asking price for the site, but one expert said it could fetch between $5 million and $10 million.
“You really get — not pennies on the dollar — but it can be 10 to 20 percent of the going concern value,” said valuation expert Jeff Anderson, noting that the site was worth around $100 million prior to the Hogan verdict.
Forty-five percent of any sale proceeds will go to Hogan and the other 55 percent to equity owners including Denton.
Anderson said Gawker.com still has a “taint” because of the Hogan case.
And no new content can be posted on the site until March 9, 2018, due to a non-compete agreement with Univision.
“Readers get used to going to a certain site and as soon as they stop doing that, they find something else to fill the void. It’s hard to get that traffic back,” Anderson said.
Reed Phillips, investment banker at Oaklins DeSilva + Phillips, agreed that it’s a tough sell.
“The archives might have some value, but the name is problematic. It is hard to imagine anyone wanting to reactivate the name after the notoriety,” Phillips said.