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Bustle owner Goldberg wins auction with $1.35 million bid


By DiNapoli

(Reuters) - U.S. Goldberg, the owner of websites Bustle, and The Zoe Report, has prevailed in the bankruptcy auction for with what sources said on Thursday was a $1.35 million bid.

The sale to Goldberg marks the end of Gawker's nearly two- year stay in bankruptcy court and came as looks to sell the gossip blog's sister websites such as Jezebel and Deadspin, which it bought for $135 million in 2016.

Gawker has been seeking a buyer for months after settling in May with billionaire venture capitalist on legal issues that arose during its bankruptcy. Thiel, who funded a privacy lawsuit that drove Gawker into bankruptcy, agreed to drop his bid for the site and abandon legal claims against any

The websites in Goldberg's Digital Group reach over 80 million women each month, according to his profile. Goldberg previously founded sports Bleacher Report, which acquired for $200 million in 2012.

Gawker had previously mocked and Goldberg, in separate blog posts. A 2013 post titled "The Relentless and Well-Deserved Mockery of Goldberg," asserted that "Goldberg is not a smart man." A 2016 Gawker post accused of asking its employees questions about their personal lives in a so-called "Bustle Writers: Identity Survey."

A U.S. must still approve Goldberg's bid.

Gawker did not immediately return a request for comment. A for Bustle confirmed that a company controlled by Goldberg won the auction, but declined to comment on his plans for Gawker.

The sources asked not to be identified ahead of an official announcement.

Goldberg beat offers from Long Island marketing firm and a holding company called Online Logo Maker LLC, the people said.

had proposed revamping Gawker, known for its salacious stories about celebrity sex and snarky commentary, into "Gawker for Good," publishing only what it considers positive and channeling ad revenues to charities. Its initial offer for Gawker was $1.13 million.

"I congratulate Bustle and Bryan on winning, and look forward to seeing what they do with such an iconic brand," wrote in an emai to

In 2012 Thiel helped fund a lawsuit filed by against Gawker after it published a video showing Hogan, whose real name is Terry Bollea, engaged in a sexual encounter. Bollea won a $140 million judgment against Gawker, leading to its bankruptcy.

Hogan later settled for $31 million. He is entitled to 45 percent of the proceeds from asset sales, according to court papers.

(Reporting by DiNapoli in New York; Editing by Dan Grebler)

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, July 12 2018. 23:55 IST