SoftBank Group Corp. is taking control of WeWork, part of a rescue financing plan that will see former CEO Adam Neumann sever most of his remaining ties with the company he co-founded
The eleventh-hour deal throws a lifeline to WeWork parent We Co., which was on the verge of running out of cash after a failed public offering in September. By salvaging one of its biggest investments, SoftBank will give a second chance to WeWork to start over under new ownership. It also tosses a buoy to Neumann, who will give up his board seat and walk away with as much as $1.2 billion as well as a $500 million credit line from SoftBank, after it pushed him out as chief executive officer last month.
Neumann is allowed to sell slightly less than $1 billion of stock to the Japanese conglomerate as part of the deal, said the people, who asked to remain anonymous because the agreement hasn’t been announced. He’ll remain as a board observer and can assign two board seats, one of the people said. Neumann will also get a roughly $185 million consulting fee. His net worth would still be at least $1 billion, according to calculations by the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
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