April 14, 2024

Adam Neumann, co-founder and former CEO of the co-working space chain WeWork, has submitted a bid to buy the bankrupt company he was ousted from, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Neumann is offering to buy the company for more than $500 million, people familiar with the matter told the outlet.

A WeWork spokesperson did not confirm if it received a bid from Neumann but acknowledge the company receives “expressions of interest” on a regular basis.

“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,” the spokesperson said in an emailed statement to Quartz.

The company, which was once valued at nearly $50 billion, filed for bankruptcy in November 2023 after failing to pay $95 million in interest payments.

WeWork has struggled to overcome financial woes stemming from its aggressive expansion in its early days and the disruption of the real estate market made by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Previously, investors pressured Neumann to resign as CEO in 2019 after regulatory filings the company made in its first attempt to go public revealed it had lost nearly $700 million in the first half of 2019.

Neumann has reportedly been exploring a joint bid with Dan Loeb’s hedge fund Third Point and other investors.

In February, a spokesperson for Third Point told the Wall Street Journal that the fund had not committed to any transaction and only had “preliminary conversations” with Neumann and his real estate company Flow Global.

Third Point did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

A brief timeline of WeWork’s tumble

January 2019: WeWork starts the year on a high, valued at $47 billion.

August 2019: The company files for an IPO. Financial statements reveal that it lost almost $700 million in the first half of 2019 while doubling its revenue.

September 2019: Despite concerns and backlash, WeWork marches ahead with its plan to list on the NASDAQ Stock Exchange. To appease investors, it curbs the voting power of then-CEO Adam Neumann before ousting him altogether. The company then withdraws its IPO as its potential valuation drops to as low as $10 billion.

November 2019: WeWork lays off about 2,400 employees worldwide.

February 2020: Sandeep Mathrani is appointed CEO.

October 2021: WeWork goes public on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), via a merger with blank-check firm BowX Acquisition Corp.

November 2022: WeWork announces that it’s exiting about 40 underperforming U.S. locations — some 5% of its desk space.

January 2023: The company trims its global workforce by another 300.

March 2023: WeWork strikes deals to cut debt by about $1.5 billion and extend the date of some debt maturities from 2025 to 2027, in a bid to preserve cash.

April 2023: The company receives a non-compliance notice from the NYSE after its stock closes below $1 on average over 30 straight days of trading.

May 2023: Mathrani steps down, shaking investor confidence. Another top exec, CFO Andre Fernandez, resigns less than a week after Mathrani’s exit.

August 2023: WeWork warns there’s “substantial doubt” about its ability to stay in business, thanks to mounting financial losses and a lack of cash.

September 2023: The company completes a one-for-40 reverse stock split to regain compliance with the NYSE’s listing requirements. It also starts renegotiating leases globally.

October 2023: WeWork admits to skipping $95 million in interest payments. David Tolley, interim CEO for five months, is named CEO. Separately, president and COO Anthony Yazbeck steps down from both roles.

-Ananya Bhattacharya contributed to this article.

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *