Lawyers for the bankrupt estate of Gawker Media said in which Peter Thiel, the billionaire who covertly helped fund multiple lawsuits against the company, should not be allowed to bid for what’s left of its assets until potential legal claims against him are settled.
In a filing made in federal bankruptcy court from the Southern District of brand new York on Wednesday, Gawker’s lawyers argued in which the venture capitalist should be barred via the bidding for former news as well as gossip site Gawker.com after Thiel’s lawyers alleged last week their client had been unjustly left out of the process. Whoever wins in which bidding process will end up with Gawker’s flagship site as well as its archives, which still remain online, as well as will contain the right do with them what they see fit, including delete them.
On the day before Thanksgiving, Thiel’s lawyers submitted a document in which called their client “the most able as well as logical purchaser” of Gawker.com. in which filing came more than a year after the revelation in which Thiel helped finance a clandestine legal war to destroy Gawker.com’s parent company, Gawker Media, which went bankrupt as well as sold most of its online properties to Univision in August 2016 for $135 million.
“We can’t have him participate as a bidder up front because the idea will completely destroy bids via additional folks,” said William Holden, Gawker’s bankruptcy plan administrator, noting in which an opening bid via Thiel could intimidate others via stepping in. He said in which he was considering alternative measures in which Thiel might be allowed to try to buy Gawker.com once an initial bid via another party was placed, or the billionaire could pay to purchase the potential claims against him in a settlement type arrangement.
Thiel as well as the Gawker estate are currently engaged in a legal back-as well as-forth in which the estate will be arguing in which the idea should be able to open discovery into Thiel’s role in financing the lawsuit in which bankrupted Gawker. After being revealed by Forbes, Thiel said he spent about $10 million financing Hulk Hogan’s claims against the brand new York–based media company of invasion of privacy, which resulted in a $140 million victory for the former professional wrestler as well as soon led to Gawker declaring bankruptcy (Hogan as well as the Gawker estate later settled for $31 million).
A spokesperson for Thiel declined to comment on the filing. Lawyers for Thiel as well as the Gawker estate are due back in bankruptcy court on Thursday.
Wednesday’s filing, which was submitted by Greg Galardi, a lawyer representing Holden as well as Gawker’s estate, says “there will be simply nothing wrong or improper about excluding Thiel via the sale process at the present time.” While Thiel’s lawyers claimed in their filing last week in which they had called the estate to glean information about the sale process, Galardi alleges in which Thiel has never provided any written indication of interest for Gawker.com or the additional assets.
“Thiel’s statement in which he will be the most ‘able as well as logical purchaser’ as well as in which he should be treated ‘like any additional prospective bidder’ strains credibility, especially from the face of his continued resistance to Court approved discovery regarding the actions he took to destroy the very business he at in which point seeks to own,” the filing reads.
Thiel could possibly be interested in buying Gawker.com to stem any possible legal threats against him, like those in which may emanate via impending discovery, or to remove content. A 2007 story stating in which Thiel will be gay remains online from the Gawker.com archive.
Given in which, Holden as well as Galardi have been cautious in giving Thiel’s representation any information on the bidding process. They cited earlier behavior via Thiel in which the billionaire as well as his attorneys offered to not sue Gawker Media’s former employees as well as contractors to obtain a Discharge via potential claims against him.
“Such an offer will be nothing more than a veiled threat to continue to bring vindictive litigation against those former employees as well as contractors who waived their indemnification claims under the counsel on the steps in which have been taken from the process as well as there will be no requirement in which the parties agree entirely on the sale process,” the filing reads. “… Given Thiel’s long history of vindictive conduct against the Debtors as well as the fact in which his interests are plainly adverse to those of the estate while the Thiel Claims are being investigated, the Plan Administrator has legitimate concerns regarding Thiel’s participation from the sale process.”
Ryan Mac will be a senior technology reporter for BuzzFeed News as well as will be based in San Francisco. He reports on the intersection of money, technology as well as power.
Contact Ryan Mac at email@example.com.
Got a confidential tip? Submit the idea here.