Tech investor SoftBank is pumping billions into WeWork, the provider of office workspaces that ran into problems in the run-up to an ultimately abandoned IPO. With that, the interest of the Japanese lender rises to 80 percent, it turned out Wednesday.
The new agreements include that SoftBank is pumping 5 billion dollars into WeWork and spending 3 billion to buy out existing shareholders. Furthermore, a previously agreed financing agreement of 1.5 billion dollars is being accelerated. In total, SoftBank has now invested more than 13 billion dollars in WeWork.
As part of the deal, the operational director of SoftBank, Marcelo Claure, will be given a management position. He becomes executive chairman of the board of directors. Former WeWork CEO Adam Neumann becomes an “superviser” of the board. A statement emphasizes that SoftBank does not take control.
“WeWork does not become a subsidiary of SoftBank”, so it sounds, but remains a separate entity.
Until a few months ago, WeWork was described as a growth brilliant. When the company pursued an IPO, investors discovered that the company had no clear path to profitability. Adam Neumann, the CEO, was also discredited because, among other things, he gave his family important positions and bought real estate with his own company, which he then sold on to WeWork.
Analysts note that only a fraction of WeWork’s paper-based stock market value was withdrawn before the withdrawn stock market debut. The market researchers counted on a stock market valuation of around 47 billion dollars. The plan to prevent the company from collapsing WeWork now values at most 8 billion dollars, as they calculated earlier.