WeWork co-founder Neumann nears settlement with Japan’s SoftBank

FILE PHOTO: A WeWork logo is pictured in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., October 4, 2019. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

WeWork cofounder and former Chief Executive Adam Neumann is nearing a settlement with SoftBank Group Corp that could include a nearly $500 million cut in his payout from the office space-sharing company’s new owner, according to a person familiar with the matter.

The settlement would put to rest a prolonged legal battle between Neumann and Softbank, which dates back to 2019 when WeWork‘s IPO plans fell apart.

It would also clear the decks for WeWork as it pursues a talks to go public through a merger with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC).

SoftBank had agreed in October 2019 to purchase around $3 billion in WeWork stock belonging to Neumann as well current and former WeWork employees. SoftBank later contested its obligation to purchase the shares.

Under the new proposed terms, SoftBank would purchase around half the shares it had originally agreed to buy, the source said, requesting anonymity as the matter is private.

SoftBank declined to comment. WeWork was not immediately available for comment. The talks were reported earlier by the Wall Street Journal.

SoftBank, which poured more than $13.5 billion into WeWork, was pulled into a legal dispute with directors at WeWork after backing out of a $3 billion tender offer agreed when it bailed out the office-sharing firm following a flopped IPO attempt.

Reuters

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.