SoftBank is reportedly giving WeWork founder Adam Neumann $1.7 billion to step off the board

Fortune BrainstormAdam Neumann, a WeWork cofounder.
  • SoftBank is about to take control of WeWork as the office-sharing firm battles to stay afloat, according to a Wall Street Journal report.
  • WeWork founder and former CEO Adam Neumann is set to receive almost $US1.7 billion from the Japanese investor as part of the deal, which will see him step off the board, The Journal reported. Neumann will reportedly sell about $US1 billion worth of shares to SoftBank, plus receive additional credit and a consulting fee.
  • Business Insider earlier reported that Neumann would also give up his voting shares as part of the bailout.
  • WeWork had also been subject to a competing takeover bid by JPMorgan, but it looks like SoftBank has won out.
  • Read all of Business Insider’s WeWork coverage here.

WeWork’s main backer, SoftBank, will reportedly give its cofounder and former CEO Adam Neumann almost $US1.7 billion as part of a takeover deal that will see him resign from the office-sharing firm’s board.

The Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday that SoftBank had won the takeover bid for WeWork, which is battling to stay afloat after Neumann stepped down as CEO and the firm delayed its initial public offering indefinitely.

WeWork and SoftBank have not commented on the report.


Read more:
WSJ: SoftBank, WeWork’s largest investor, takes control of the embattled office company, with cofounder Adam Neumann stepping down

Business Insider reported on Monday that WeWork’s board would review competing takeover bids from SoftBank and JPMorgan on Tuesday. A source said Neumann would give up his voting shares as part of the deal.

According to The Journal, Neumann is expected to sell $US1 billion worth of stock to SoftBank and receive a $US185 million “consulting fee” as well as $US500 million in credit.

The Japanese firm has invested about $US10 billion in the company to date.

Neumann resigned as WeWork’s CEO in September. Chief Financial Officer Artie Minson and another exec, Sebastian Gunningham, took over as co-CEOs on September 24.

The Journal reported that SoftBank’s takeover deal valued WeWork at about $US8 billion, a fraction of the valuation the firm hoped to achieve when it floated. It was once valued at $US47 billion, and the SoftBank executive Rajeev Misra once boasted that it was worth $US100 billion.

Neumann will still be able to attend board meetings as a “board observer,” The Journal reported, meaning he could watch proceedings but not vote on decisions.

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