WeWork’s board had reportedly been weighing the SoftBank offer with a proposed multibillion-dollar bailout package from a consortium of banks led by JPMorgan Chase.
To date, SoftBank has invested upward of $10B into WeWork, mostly through its Saudi- and Abu Dhabi-backed Vision Fund.
The $8B takeover deal would be carried out by SoftBank’s central business, rather than Vision Fund, CNBC reports, and led by former Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure.
If the current deal framework holds, SoftBank will wind up with at least a 70% stake in WeWork, CNBC reports.
Some of its new shares would come from WeWork co-founder and former CEO Adam Neumann, whose erratic management style and outsized ambition were reportedly enabled by SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son, who had reportedly been a key force in Neumann’s ouster as CEO. Though the voting rights of Neumann’s ownership shares had already been pared down from 20-to-1 to 10-to-1, he still possesses enough control to be the ultimate decision-maker on a sale deal, Axios reports.
To take control over The We Company, SoftBank will buy $1B in stock from Neumann, pay him a $185M consulting fee and extend him $500M in credit to repay a loan led by JPMorgan, the Wall Street Journal reports.
Neumann’s raw ownership share would drop down to the “low teens” after the SoftBank deal goes through, CNBC reports.