Business - August 24, 2017

SoftBank invests $4.4B in WeWork

[dropcap]W[/dropcap]eWork raised $4.4 billion in investment from Japanese conglomerate SoftBank — far more money than previously reported.(Adam Neumann and Softbank’s CEO Masayoshi Son)

Reports first emerged in February that SoftBank could invest more than $3 billion and a month later Bloomberg reported that it invested $300 million.

When news broke last month that WeWork had raised another $500 million from SoftBank and Hony Capital to fund its expansion into China, it was widely assumed that money was part of the $3 billion pot.

It turns out that SoftBank and its vision fund, which invests in tech startups, agreed to invest $3 billion into WeWork, and then another $1.4 billion into three newly created companies:

WeWork China, WeWork Japan and WeWork Pacific.

“Masayoshi Son is a visionary business leader and we are humbled by this strong endorsement of our mission and purpose,” WeWork’s CEO Adam Neumann said in a statement.

As part of the deal, SoftBank executives Ronald Fischer and Mark Schwartz are joining the co-working company’s board of directors.

“We are thrilled to support WeWork as they expand across markets and geographies and unleash a new wave of productivity around the world,” Son said in a statement.

WeWork said that the $3 billion investment in the parent company will take the form of “a primary investment in new shares and a secondary purchase from existing stockholders of outstanding shares.”

Last month, Forbes reported that WeWork had filed documents to sell new shares worth $760 million, valuing the firm at $20 billion.

WeWork, which manages 212 co-working spaces around the globe, is aggressively pushing into the East Asian market.

It has also been shaking up its corporate structure and hiring seasoned executives ahead of a rumored IPO.

Last year The Real Deal published an in-depth analysis of the logic behind WeWork’s valuation.


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