American publisher and Internet conglomerate, Ziff Davis, has placed a $100 million bid to purchase Gawker Media Group.
The news comes hours after Gawker filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy, due to the $140 million legal fees surrounding the Hulk Hogan court case against the media outlet. Ziff Davis, which owns several online websites including IGN, AskMen and PC Mag, will be stepping in to control the assets of Gawker Media, which include Gizmodo, Jezebel, and most notably, Kotaku.
Gawker confirmed the deal, stating that they reached an agreement with Ziff Davis to sell all seven of their media brands, including Kotaku, to Ziff Davis’ subsidiary, j2 Global Inc. “We are encouraged by the agreement with Ziff Davis, one of the most rigorously managed and profitable companies in digital media,” stated Gawker CEO Nick Denton.
It should be noted that Gawker has listed between $50-$100 million in assets, while they have $100- $500 million in liabilities, after filing with the U.S Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York.
Ziff Davis CEO Vivek Shah stated in a memo “In the event we become the acquirer, the additions of Gizmodo, Lifehacker and Kotaku would fortify our position in consumer tech and gaming.”
Kotaku today issued a statement regarding the bankruptcy announcement, with Stephen Totilo stating that website will be business as usual. “Through the Chapter 11 process, we will continue normal operations and maintain that same editorial focus,” stated Totilo. “That means covering E3 next week, reporting about gaming culture in the months to come and, of course, writing the best possible review of Half-Life 3 when it finally comes out.”
Kotaku has not commented on the purchase by Ziff Davis, although it is unlikely that any changes will occur in the short term until the assets of Gawker are put up for public sale.
Editor’s Note: We have changed the title since publication to be more accurate. Apologies for the error.
It is unlikely that this news will affect Kotaku at all I feel. Even with the purchase by Ziff Davis, what may just happen is the staff of Kotaku either merging with IGN (similar to the fate of Joystiq back in 2015, when it merged with Engadget) or they keep it a separate entity.
Technically, Kotaku and other Gawker assets have not been purchased yet, as the standard procedure is to wait for an open auction for other companies to place a bid. Ziff Davis will have to wait until the bankruptcy courts allow the deal go through before their bid is considered, but it seems like Gawker is already willing to accept their bid for their properties- it all hinges now on the courts.
What do you think? Is Kotaku going to see any changes in the future? Leave your comments below.