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

FILE - iPhone fans share a light moment while waiting for the first day sales of iPhone 3GS in Tokyo, Japan, Friday, June 26, 2009. Longtime technology news and review site Gizmodo has been sold for the third time in the past eight years. (AP Photo/Junji Kurokawa, File) (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

NEW YORK (AP) — 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. 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 fallout from a losing 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. Great Hill formed G/O Media to oversee Gizmodo and other websites

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


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

G/O Media 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, and that Gizmodo's 2016 sale to Univision Commutations was part of a $135 million purchase of Gizmodo's former parent, Gawker Media. The story has been corrected to add the dropped “r” to the last name of G/O Media's CEO. The correct spelling is Spanfeller.