SoftBank takes over WeWork as founder and former CEO Adam Neumann walks away with $1.7 billion
We’ve been following WeWork saga for about three weeks now. Just as we reported yesterday, WeWork’s board of directors finally accepted a takeover bid from investor SoftBank, handing control of the real estate unicorn startup to the Japanese giant, according to news report from The Wall Street Journal, citing a source directly familiar with the matter.
As part of the deal, former WeWork co-founder and CEO Adam Neumann will step down from WeWork board, while maintaining a stake in the company. Neumann will get about $1.7 billion in stock, cash and credit to walk away from the company and give up his voting rights. Neumann has already cashed out at least $700 million through share sales and loans. SoftBank is in advanced talks to take control of WeWork, a decision that could come as soon as Tuesday.
WeWork, which was once valued at $47 billion, went from the massive valuation to failed IPO. The startup was in danger of running out of cash in mid-November, chose a rescue offer from SoftBank over a competing proposal from JPMorgan Chase & Co., according to Wall Street Journal, citing people familiar with the matter. WeWork had asked both parties to submit proposals by a deadline yesterday.
Founded in 2010 by Adam Neumann and Miguel McKelvey, WeWork is a platform for creators that transforms buildings into dynamic environments for creativity, focus, and collaboration. The company transform buildings into beautiful, collaborative workspaces and provide infrastructure, services, events, and tech so their members can focus on doing what they love.
Since founded in 2010, the co-working unicorn startup has raised a staggering $12.8 billion in funding over 14 rounds. Last month, the startup formally withdrew the S-1 filing and postponed its IPO. The reported public valuation of the WeWork is currently valued at around $10 billion, less than the $12.8 billion it had raised since inception.