April 25, 2018 / 4:09 PM / 6 months ago

Peter Thiel abandons bid to buy news website Gawker -court papers

NEW YORK, April 25 (Reuters) - Venture capitalist Peter Thiel on Wednesday abandoned his effort to buy the irreverent news website Gawker.com, as part of a settlement freeing the billionaire from possible lawsuits for having secretly funded litigation that led to its demise.

The proposed settlement between Thiel Capital LLC and a liquidator for Gawker Media LLC requires the approval of a judge at the U.S. bankruptcy court in Manhattan.

It calls for Thiel to withdraw from efforts to buy Gawker, and release claims against any eventual buyer.

The accord clears the way for a sale of Gawker’s remaining assets, including domain names and nearly 200,000 archived articles. Gawker has been inactive since late 2016.

Univision Holdings Inc, the media company best known for its Spanish-language broadcasters, bought many Gawker assets, including the Deadspin sports website and feminist blog Jezebel for $135 million in 2016.

Thiel had funded former professional wrestler Hulk Hogan’s lawsuit against Gawker after it published a video of him in a sexual encounter.

Hogan, whose real name is Terry Bollea, won a $140 million judgment against Gawker, forcing the website into Chapter 11. He later settled for $31 million. (Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; editing by Scott Malone)

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