WeWork's Ousted CEO Won't Be Buying It Back

Adam Neumann doesn't sound optimistic about the company's alternate plans
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 26, 2024 2:08 AM CDT
Updated May 29, 2024 12:50 PM CDT
WeWork's Ousted CEO Reportedly Trying to Buy It Back
In this Jan. 16, 2018, file photo, Adam Neumann, co-founder and CEO of WeWork, attends the opening bell ceremony at Nasdaq in New York.   (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)
UPDATE May 29, 2024 12:50 PM CDT

WeWork will not soon be owned by the man who co-founded it and was unceremoniously dumped from it five years ago. As the Wall Street Journal reports, Adam Neumann is dropping his $500 million-plus bid to buy the foundering workspace-sharing company that he once helmed. "For several months, we tried to work constructively with WeWork to create a strategy that would allow it to thrive," Neumann said Tuesday. "Instead, the company looks to be emerging from bankruptcy with a plan that appears unrealistic and unlikely to succeed." The New York Times reports the "lifeline" WeWork instead opted for includes a restructuring deal that will shrink WeWork's debt by $4 billion, plus $450 million in fresh funding from early investor SoftBank.

Mar 26, 2024 2:08 AM CDT

The eccentric, controversial co-founder and erstwhile CEO of WeWork is reportedly trying to buy his former startup back. Sources tell the Wall Street Journal, CNBC, and Reuters that Adam Neumann submitted an offer of more than $500 million to acquire the company out of bankruptcy, and that, pending due diligence, his bid could go as high as $900 million. The co-working and office-sharing company, once a tech world darling, filed for bankruptcy in November after much struggling that only worsened when the COVID pandemic hit. It's not yet clear how Neumann would fund the acquisition, were it to go through. A couple salient lines from coverage of the development:

  • One line from CNBC: "The uncertainty over Neumann's financing, coupled with his track record at the company, could dampen WeWork's receptiveness to his offer."
  • WeWork's official statement: "As we've said previously, WeWork is an extraordinary company and it's no surprise we receive expressions of interest from third parties on a regular basis. Our Board and our advisors review those approaches in the ordinary course, to ensure we always act in the best long-term interests of the company."
  • A columnist weighs in: "Neumann's attempt to recover WeWork at a fraction of its once-hyped price shows his enduring trust in the company's vision, despite his departure and public scrutiny. Or does it show just a shrewd business deal after a significant exit package?" writes Jim Osman in a piece at Forbes that tracks the WeWork saga.
(More WeWork stories.)

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