Adam Neumann has agreed to reduce the payments he receives from WeWork’s largest investor, SoftBank, by 50%, ending legal proceedings and paving the way for shared office providers to go public.
SoftBank said on Friday that it had reached a settlement agreement with Neumann and two WeWork board directors. The latter filed a lawsuit against the Japanese group’s unwillingness to implement SoftBank’s US$3 billion tender offer, and SoftBank pledged to serve as SoftBank’s rescue package. a part of.
The agreement is that WeWork is on the verge of bankruptcy after 1
According to people familiar with the matter, according to the terms of the transaction, SoftBank will spend $1.5 billion to buy shares from Neumann, WeWork employees and other investors in the company (including the venture capital group Benchmark Capital). Neumann can sell up to $500 million in stocks through trading.
SoftBank initially planned to purchase part of a multi-billion-dollar rescue package in October 2019, but later rejected the offer, claiming that WeWork failed to meet a series of conditions of the rescue agreement.
Marcelo Claure, Executive Chairman of WeWork, said that the settlement is “the result of all parties participating in the meeting to best benefit WeWork’s future.”
A person with direct knowledge of the matter said that resolving the dispute with Neumann is essential for the possible merger of WeWork with a listed blank cheque company, which will enable it to be traded on the open market.
People familiar with the matter said that SoftBank is currently negotiating with BowX Acquisition, a special-purpose acquisition company that raised US$420 million in its initial public offering in August. The merger may increase WeWork’s valuation. Between 8 billion and 10 billion US dollars.
Negotiations have been going on for several weeks, and negotiations may soon be announced, although a person involved in the negotiations said that WeWork can still choose to go public through traditional IPO or direct listing.
The new valuation is a far cry from WeWork’s $47 billion mark in its funding round, after which the company was criticized by investors due to huge losses, governance issues, and news that Neumann personally benefited from a series of transactions. .
People familiar with the matter said that Neumann will not play any role in WeWork’s operations and will not have a place on the company’s board of directors. However, he will retain most of his shares in the company.