Oct 21, 2019

Report: SoftBank to take control of WeWork

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Japanese investment firm SoftBank is set to take control of WeWork in a deal that slashes the co-working company's valuation from $48 billion to around $8 billion, according to CNBC. WeWork is declining comment, and there is subsequent reporting that the company is still deciding between SoftBank's offer and a debt package led by J.P. Morgan.

Why it matters: SoftBank helped break WeWork. Now it may own it.

  • CNBC reports that SoftBank will invest between $4 billion and $5 billion as part of the deal.
  • It is unclear if that money is included in the reported valuation, or if the valuation is pre-money.
  • SoftBank originally invested in WeWork three years ago at around a $21 billion valuation, before later investing at a $47 billion valuation. That first deal came via SoftBank's $100 billion Vision Fund, while the latter came from its balance sheet.

Go deeper: SoftBank's complicated Vision Fund

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WeWork accepts SoftBank's rescue package

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

WeWork said in a statement Wednesday it has accepted a multibillion-dollar rescue package from SoftBank that gives the Japanese firm an 80% stake in the company.

Why it matters: Per Axios' Dan Primack, who first reported that the deal was about to happen, it'a dramatic development in a "saga that has seen the embattled company plunge from a $47 billion valuation to below $8 billion."

Go deeperArrowOct 23, 2019

SoftBank chairman Masa Son admits poor judgment over WeWork

Photo Illustration: Eniola Odetunde. Photo via Yoshikazu Tsuno/Getty Images

SoftBank’s second Vision Fund “is going to be launched as scheduled” and be roughly the same size as the first, chairman Masayoshi Son said on Wednesday during the Japanese conglomerate’s quarterly earnings, although he declined to share more details.

Why it matters: That’s in spite of the storm of challenges it’s currently weathering, including rumored fundraising woes and its biggest problem child, WeWork.

Go deeperArrowNov 6, 2019

Scoop: Adam Neumann will determine WeWork's fate

Photo: Michael Kovac/Getty Images for WeWork

Japanese investment firm SoftBank will pay former WeWork CEO and current non-executive chairman Adam Neumann around $200 million to leave the board of directors, give up his voting shares and support SoftBank's takeover, according to multiple sources familiar with the situation.

Why it matters: It's a dramatic — and legally dubious — development in a saga that has seen the embattled company plunge from a $47 billion valuation to below $8 billion. SoftBank's board will vote on Tuesday, but that's irrelevant, since Neumann's 10 votes per share are the only ones that matter. It's unclear if Neumann's successors Sebastian Gunningham and Artie Minson will stay on as co-CEOs.

Go deeperArrowOct 21, 2019