Adam Neumann Pursues Acquisition of WeWork Amid Bankruptcy Proceedings


Adam Neumann, the ousted co-founder of WeWork, is attempting to purchase the company out of bankruptcy, citing support from Wall Street to regain control despite accruing significant losses.


Representatives for Neumann conveyed in a letter to WeWork that he is collaborating with Daniel Loeb’s Third Point hedge fund, asserting efforts to engage with the company since December. However, Third Point clarified that while they had preliminary discussions with Neumann’s property company, no commitment to participate in any transaction had been made.

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Reports indicate that executives from Third Point, SoftBank, and Neumann last convened in October to explore a potential bid for the company. SoftBank, however, did not immediately respond to requests for comments.


Neumann’s tenure at WeWork saw its valuation soaring to $47 billion before plummeting post the cancellation of its initial public offering. Concerns arose among potential investors regarding the company’s business model and Neumann’s management.


Any takeover bid by Neumann and his backers would encounter hurdles, requiring the support of WeWork’s senior creditors, who were poised to assume control post-bankruptcy. Notably, SoftBank, having invested over $16 billion in WeWork, holds significant influence.


In the letter, Neumann’s attorney expressed dismay over WeWork’s lack of engagement in the restructuring process, highlighting the potential benefits of an acquisition in a hybrid work environment.


Despite engaging with some creditors, including King Street Capital, Brigade Capital, and BlackRock, it remains uncertain if any are willing to endorse Neumann’s plans.


Time is of the essence for Neumann, as WeWork faces financial constraints amid the bankruptcy process, with slow progress in lease restructuring and a pressing need for new financing.


Neumann’s legal counsel criticized WeWork’s failure to provide adequate information, potentially hindering efforts to maximize value for stakeholders.


Notably, Neumann has received substantial payouts from SoftBank, including a $185 million non-compete agreement in 2019 and a $106 million settlement in 2021. His investment vehicle was compensated $578 million for its equity holdings in WeWork.


WeWork stated that while reviewing all expressions of interest, their current focus remains on addressing rent expenses and restructuring the business for optimal positioning.