WeWork Considering $8 Billion SoftBank Takeover Offer: WSJ
WeWork is considering a takeover offer from SoftBank that values the company at about $8 billion, The Wall Street Journal reports. SoftBank has reportedly offered to loan WeWork $5 billion, accelerate its $1.5 billion equity investment that was scheduled for 2020, and buy $1 billion in stock from existing investors and employees. The offer would value the company at less than half of what WeWork initially sought in its now-abandoned initial public offering and is a fraction of the $47 billion that the co-working company was valued at in January. SoftBank executive Marcelo Claure would reportedly succeed ex-CEO Adam Neumann as chairman of WeWork’s board and would spearhead the effort to look for a new CEO. Axios reports that Neumann will be paid about $200 million to leave the board of directors as chairman, give up his voting shares, and support the SoftBank takeover.
The news comes after Neumann reportedly ousted himself from the chief executive role following the heavy scrutiny of WeWork that started when the company planned to go public. The fallout included the company slashing its initial valuation and indefinitely shelving its IPO.