In a federal bankruptcy court filing on Wednesday, lawyers for venture capitalist Peter Thiel objected to the ongoing sale process of Gawker.com, arguing that the billionaire has been unfairly excluded from bidding for the assets of the defunct news website.
The filing, which comes more than a year after the revelation that Thiel helped finance a clandestine legal war to destroy Gawker.com’s parent company, Gawker Media, lays the groundwork for the Facebook board member’s possible bid for the dormant website. While its sister sites were sold to Univision in August 2016 for $135 million following Gawker Media’s bankruptcy, a bankruptcy plan administrator has not been able to find a buyer for Gawker.com. Whoever ends up buying the site will also buy its archives, which are still up, and will have the right to do with them what they want, including delete them.
In the filing, Thiel’s lawyers allege that he was prevented from receiving information in regard to a potential bid for Gawker.com by plan administrator William Holden and his counsel, Gregg Galardi, following a Wall Street Journal story in October that said Holden and Galardi had started to market the website to potential buyers. Holden and Galardi have been “maintaining selective secrecy over that process,” according to Thiel’s lawyers from Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP.
“In light of the Plan Administrator’s refusal to allow Mr. Thiel to participate in the sale process, Mr. Thiel’s counsel requested that the Plan Administrator agree to pause the ongoing sale process so that a sale of the assets is not consummated…