WeWork Founder Now an 'Ex-Billionaire'

SoftBank pulls out of $3B stock takeover, a big blow to Adam Nuemann
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 3, 2020 11:22 AM CDT
WeWork Founder Now an 'Ex-Billionaire'
SoftBank founder and Chief Executive Officer Masayoshi Son speaks during a news conference in Tokyo on Nov 6, 2019.   (Kyodo News via AP, File)

SoftBank's cold feet apparently became frozen. WeWork's largest investor announced Thursday that it was backing out of a deal to buy $3 billion in shares of the communal office-space startup, including some $970 million worth from founder and former CEO Adam Neumann. SoftBank said it was "fully committed to the success of WeWork" but had "no choice but to terminate the tender offer" reached in October as several conditions weren't met, per the Guardian. It also acknowledged "multiple, new, and significant pending criminal and civil investigations" targeting the startup since the agreement, which valued WeWork at around $8 billion. It had been valued at $47 billion only months earlier, before a swift collapse.

Bloomberg is now calling Neumann an "ex-billionaire," estimating his current personal net worth at $450 million, down from $14 billion less than a year ago. In a statement, a special committee of WeWork's board said it was "surprised and disappointed" and considering all legal options, including litigation, per CNN and the Guardian. In a letter to investors, obtained by CNBC, leaders said WeWork "has a strategic plan and a sound financial position" with $4.4 billion in cash and cash commitments. Per the Guardian, WeWork has signed $47 billion worth of long-term rental agreements in the US and is "the single biggest office tenant in Manhattan, and the second-largest in London after the government." Both areas are locked down. (More WeWork stories.)

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