International Business Times has learned. The company confirmed the move on Tuesday as a way to finance its ongoing legal battle with ex-WWE legend Hulk Hogan.
The resolution put to the shareholders, obtained by IBT, will allow for the “authorization, creation and issuance of the Series B Preferred Shares.” Private companies looking to raise money issue different types of stock to different classes of shareholders. In the event of the sale of the company or an IPO, the different classes of shareholders may be paid at different rates or in different order.
A representative for Gawker sent IBT the following statement: “With the Hulk Hogan trial beginning in early March, Gawker Media is fortifying its finances to ensure full resources are in place for the continued cost of litigation," it read. "Gawker Media is the most heavily trafficked digital media company that has not raised institutional funding and continues to grow at double-digit rates, with significant untapped opportunity across its seven core brands."
That trial is the last stand of Terry Gene Bollea, better known as Hulk Hogan, who is suing Gawker to the tune of $100 million for defamation, loss of privacy and emotional pain over a sex tape published by the site in 2012.
Meanwhile, Hogan and Gawker should seek mediation instead of a trial, the Pinellas County circuit judge overseeing their case said in a Wednesday hearing.
According to tampabay.com, Judge Pamela Campbell made her suggestion during a discussion about attorneys' upcoming review of DVDs made during an FBI sting operation.
The former professional wrestler, whose real name is Terry Bollea, sued Gawker for $100 million in 2012. He accused the company of violating his right to privacy by publishing part of a sex tape of him and Heather Cole, ex-wife of radio shock jock Bubba the Love Sponge Clem.
The tape's reported contents — including racial and homophobic slurs — have caused major damage to Bollea's reputation.