May 26 (Reuters) - Gawker Media, the New York-based owner of online news and gossip website Gawker.com, is exploring a sale following a court ruling that it pay $140 million to wrestler Hulk Hogan over the publication of a sex tape, the New York Post reported.
The Post, citing sources, said at least one party had expressed interest in the company, with a potential deal value of between $50 million and $70 million. (nyp.st/1TFLU2e)
Gawker, which also owns popular blogs such as Gizmodo, Jezebel and Kotaku, was not immediately available for comment.
The Wall Street Journal later also reported that Gawker, founded and run by Nick Denton, had hired investment banker Mark Patricof of Houlihan Lokey to explore strategic options, including a sale. (on.wsj.com/1WmtkQk)
A six-person jury in March awarded $60 million to Hogan, whose real name is Terry Bollea, for emotional distress and $55 million for economic damages. The jury then slapped another $25 million in punitive damages on the company and Denton.
Hogan sued the website for posting a video clip in 2012 featuring him having sex with the wife of his then-best friend, the radio shock jock Bubba the Love Sponge Clem.
He testified that he did not know their consensual tryst was being recorded when it occurred nearly a decade ago. (Reporting by Anya George Tharakan in Bengaluru; Editing by Ted Kerr)