Lawyers for the bankrupt estate of Gawker Media said that 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 in the Southern District of New York on Wednesday, Gawker’s lawyers argued that the venture capitalist should be barred from the bidding for former news and gossip site Gawker.com after Thiel’s lawyers alleged last week their client had been unjustly left out of the process. Whoever wins that bidding process will end up with Gawker’s flagship site and its archives, which still remain online, and will have the right do with them what they see fit, including delete them.
On the day before Thanksgiving, Thiel’s lawyers submitted a document that called their client “the most able and logical purchaser” of Gawker.com. That filing came more than a year after the revelation that Thiel helped finance a clandestine legal war to destroy Gawker.com’s parent company, Gawker Media, which went bankrupt and 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 it will completely destroy bids from other folks,” said William Holden, Gawker’s bankruptcy plan administrator, noting that an opening bid from Thiel could intimidate others from stepping in. He said that he was considering alternative measures in which Thiel would be allowed to try to buy Gawker.com once an initial bid from another party was…