Adam Neumann bids over $500 million to buy back WeWork: Source, ET RealEstate

March 26, 2024

WeWork co-founder Adam Neumann has submitted an offer to buy the bankrupt company for more than $500 million, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people with knowledge of the matter.

It wasn’t immediately clear how Neumann would finance the acquisition of the provider of shared office space, the newspaper reported.

A representative for Neumann’s real estate company, Flow, confirmed that a bid was submitted, saying it exceeded the amount reported by the Journal.

“Two weeks ago, a coalition of half a dozen financing partners — whose identities are known to WeWork and its advisers — submitted a potential bid for substantially more than the Wall Street Journal reported,” the Flow representative said.

WeWork said in an emailed statement that it remains focused on emerging from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the second quarter as a “financially strong and profitable company.”

“WeWork is an extraordinary company and it’s no surprise we receive expressions of interest from third parties on a regular basis,” the company said. “Our board and our advisers review those approaches in the ordinary course, to ensure we always act in the best long-term interests of the company.”

Neumann, previously WeWork’s chief executive officer, and other investors including Dan Loeb’s Third Point were exploring an offer to buy WeWork out of bankruptcy, Bloomberg reported last month. Neumann and his real estate startup, Flow, had been trying to get information from WeWork necessary to formulate a bid since December, according to a letter sent to WeWork’s lawyers.

Third Point isn’t involved in Neumann’s bid, said people familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified because the information was private. A spokesperson for the firm declined to comment.

Neumann’s Flow received a $350 million investment from venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz at a $1 billion valuation in 2022 before even beginning operations. Flow operates multifamily residential properties that aim to foster a feeling of ownership and community.

WeWork’s valuation plummeted from a high of $47 billion after a failed attempt to go public in 2019, then the Covid-19 pandemic dealt another blow. Although WeWork’s office locations initially emptied out, demand for flexible work proved somewhat resilient. The company eventually went public in 2021 through a combination with a special purpose acquisition company, or SPAC.

Before it fell into bankruptcy, WeWork had been trying to deliver a turnaround story — one in which the rowdy co-working startup transforms into a stable, profitable public company. After the pandemic, the New York-based firm was bleeding cash with onerous leases. The company listed $19 billion of liabilities and $15 billion of assets in its Chapter 11 filing last year.

  • Published On Mar 26, 2024 at 08:46 AM IST

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Abhay Singh

Web Developer