Gizmodo is sold for the third time in 8 years

Former tech news and reviews site Gizmodo has been sold for the third time in the last eight years, this time to a European publisher looking to expand its coverage of the digital scene.

Switzerland-based Keleops did not disclose how much it paid for Gizmodo in its announcement of the deal on Tuesday. Gizmodo was part of a $135 million deal in 2016 when Univision Communications bought its previous owner, Gawker Media, after that company filed for bankruptcy in the wake of a lost legal battle with former professional wrestler Hulk Hogan.

Univision subsequently sold Gizmodo and satirical publication The Onion to Boston investment firm Great Hill Partners in 2019 for what was believed to be a fraction of the price paid in the 2016 deal. Great Hill formed G/O Media to oversee Gizmodo and other websites

In a memo to staff provided to The Associated Press, G/O Media CEO Jim Spanfelle said Gizmodo was sold this time for much more than the price paid to Univision in 2019, without providing any details.

“This and other valuation increases are a strong testament to the work not only of our editorial teams but also other core areas of our operations,” wrote Spanfelle, who said the deal includes a commitment to keep Gizmodo’s staff intact.

G/O Media recently sold The Onion to technology executive Jeff Lawson, who became a billionaire after founding online business software provider Twilio.

Lawson is asking Onion readers to donate $1 to help fund it. Keleops CEO Jean-Guillaume Kleis, who founded his company a decade ago, plans to pursue a more traditional business strategy by leveraging the brand and reputation Gizmodo has built over its more than 20 years of tracking technology.

“The combination of Keleops’ unique digital expertise and Gizmodo’s rich content and deep editorial expertise will greatly benefit both our audience and our partners,” Kleis predicted in a statement.

New York-based Gizmodo attracted global attention in 2010 after purchasing one of Apple’s early iPhone 4 prototypes that Apple’s late co-founder said had been stolen. Jobs, who died in 2011, also accused Gizmodo of trying to extort Apple to get the device back, prompting an apology from a Gizmodo editor. Local Silicon Valley prosecutors did not file charges in that matter.

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