Tech news site Gizmodo sold for third time in 8 years as European publisher Keleops looks to expand

NEW YORK — Longtime technology news and review site Gizmodo has been sold for the third time in the past eight years, this time to a European publisher looking to expand its coverage of the digital scene.

Switzerland-based Keleops didn’t disclose how much it paid for Gizmodo in its Tuesday announcement of the deal. The site fetched $135 million in 2016 when Univision Communications bought it after its previous owner, Gawker Media, went bankrupt after losing a legal battle with former professional wrestler Hulk Hogan.

Univision subsequently sold Gizmodo and the satirical publication The Onion to Boston investment firm Great Hill Partners in 2019 at what was believed to be a fraction of the price paid in the 2016 deal.

G/O Media, a company created by Great Hill after the acquisition, recently sold The Onion to tech executive Jeff Lawson, who became a billionaire after founding online business software provider Twilio.

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

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

New York-based Gizmodo attracted worldwide attention in 2010 after buying an early prototype of Apple’s iPhone 4 that Apple’s late co-founder contended was stolen. Jobs, who died in 2011, also accused Gizmodo of trying to extort Apple to get the device back, resulting in an apology from a Gizmodo editor. Local prosecutors in Silicon Valley did not file charges in that caper.


This story has been updated to correct that Keleops is based in Switzerland, not Paris.

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