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SoftBank executives discuss trimming WeWork offer

The discussions at SoftBank center around shrinking a $3 billion tender offer for WeWork shares owned by founders, employees and investors, according to people with knowledge of the talks. Such a move would be designed, at least in part, to limit ...

Bloomberg|
Nov 22, 2019, 11.49 PM IST
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AFP
WeWork--AFP
Last month, the struggling WeWork parent company We Co. secured a $9.5 billion rescue package from Soft-Bank, an agreement that would hand about 80% of the company to the Japanese conglomerate.
LONDON | NEW YORK: Executives at SoftBank are looking for a way to reduce the size of a $3 billion offer for WeWork stock as part of its rescue package, as the office-sharing behemoth makes wide-ranging cuts to staff.

The discussions at SoftBank center around shrinking a $3 billion tender offer for WeWork shares owned by founders, employees and investors, according to people with knowledge of the talks. Such a move would be designed, at least in part, to limit the amount paid to co-founder Adam Neumann, said the people, who requested anonymity because the matter is private. It's unclear how SoftBank could renege on its agreement with We-Work investors and crucially, with Neumann. Any effort to re-draw terms could result in a legal battle, one person said. As part of the deal Neumann has the ability to sell $970 million worth of WeWork stock to SoftBank.

In recent internal discussions at SoftBank, some executives have said the payout to Neumann is too generous, the people with knowledge of the talks said. It may be a case of buyer's remorse after WeWork employees expressed outrage over the favorable deal given to Neumann while the business was in turmoil. Representatives for Neumann, SoftBank and WeWork declined to comment.

Last month, the struggling WeWork parent company We Co. secured a $9.5 billion rescue package from Soft-Bank, an agreement that would hand about 80% of the company to the Japanese conglomerate.

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