News site Gawker is being purchased by Univision for $135m (£104m). Gawker was seeking a buyer since filing for bankruptcy after it was hit with a $140m libel judgment in a lawsuit brought by celebrity wrestler Hulk Hogan which was bankrolled by Silicon Valley billionaire and PayPal co-founder, Peter Thiel.

Univision faced off against Ziff Davis in a bankruptcy auction for the popular site founded in 2002 by British journalist-entrepreneur Nick Denton.

Univision will acquire all seven web sites run by Gawker, including its main site, sports site Deadspin, Jezebel, aimed at female readers, and Gizmodo for techies, according to Recode.

Univision, which until recently was best known as a Spanish-language TV network, has been rapidly expanding its digital reach by acquiring satire site The Onion and The Root, a publication aimed at African-Americans. It also recently purchased millennial digital news site, Fusion.

After announcing the deal for Gawker, Denton called Univision "one of America's largest media companies that is rapidly assembling the leading digital media group for millennial and multicultural audiences. We could not have picked an acquirer more devoted to vibrant journalism."

He also said he was "pleased" that Gawker employees will be "protected and will continue their work under new ownership disentangled from the legal campaign against the company.

Houlihan Lokey banker Mark Patricof, who represented Gawker Media, said the deal "exceeded our expectations," and that "both sides are happy with the outcome."

A US bankruptcy judge still needs to sign off on the case, and the libel judgment funds will be set aside while Gawker appeals its court case.

Denton pioneered new territory with his gossip news site with attitude that quickly became a hit with readers and was copied by a host of other digital news sites.

Gawker outed Thiel as gay in 2007. Thiel finally announced he was proud to be gay from the podium of the Republican National Convention this year.

Thiel secretly bankrolled the lawsuit by Hulk Hogan (Terry Bollea) against the news site that netted an astonishingly high judgment with the help of expensive legal talent. Hogan had claimed that Gawker violated his privacy in 2012 when it published a sex tape of him and his former best friend's wife.

The controversial Thiel has boasted that he helped clean up American journalism with the lawsuit. But First Amendment advocates argue that such a retaliatory lawsuits by the wealthy have a dangerous chilling effect on free speech.

Denton has called Thiel's attack lawsuit "a personal vendetta." Despite Thiel's success he's a "a thin-skinned billionaire who seethes over criticism and plots behind the scenes," he added.