Advertisement

Adam Neumann is trying to buy back WeWork

Adam Neumann, co-founder and chief executive officer of WeWork, speaks during a signing ceremony at WeWork Weihai Road flagship on April 12, 2018 in Shanghai, China. World's leading co-working space company WeWork will acquire China-based rival naked Hub for 400 million U.S. dollars.
WeWork CEO Adam NeumannJackal Pan/Visual China Group via Getty Images
  • Adam Neumann submitted a bid to buy back WeWork, the Wall Street Journal reported.

  • The WeWork cofounder has been trying to regain control of the company since parting ways five years ago.

  • The flexible office provider filed for bankruptcy in November 2023.

WeWork cofounder Adam Neumann is trying to regain control of the bankrupt flexible office company.

Neumann has submitted a bid to buy WeWork for more than $500 million, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday.

The move comes after an attorney for Neumann and his new real estate company Flow Global sent a letter to WeWork's lawyers detailing efforts to buy back the company last month.

A spokesperson for Flow Global on Monday confirmed to Business Insider that several groups were involved in the WeWork offer, which was made earlier this month.

"Two weeks ago, a coalition of half a dozen financing partners — whose identities are known to WeWork and its advisors — submitted a potential bid for substantially more than The Wall Street Journal reported without contacting us," a representative for Flow said.

An attorney who has represented Flow Global did not respond to Business Insider's request for comment.

Neumann has met with WeWork several times since December to discuss the possibility of purchasing or financing it, the letter said.

The February letter from Neumann's attorney said he was partnering with capital providers that included Dan Loeb's Third Point. The hedge fund told Bloomberg at the time that it was only in preliminary talks with Neumann and Flow and hadn't committed to a deal.

Neumann parted ways with WeWork in fall 2019, after would-be investors in the company's failed initial public offering balked at his eccentric leadership style and the company's financial outlook.

In February 2020, WeWork's main investor, SoftBank, installed a commercial real estate veteran as CEO. He embarked on a multi-year cost-cutting effort, ridding WeWork of superfluous businesses that accumulated under Neumann, reducing headcount, and axing expensive leases.

But the pandemic undercut the turnaround, as downtowns emptied and white-collar employees, especially in the US, failed to return to their offices five days a week. Saddled with long-term leases WeWork couldn't shed and less office demand than predicted, the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in November 2023.

Now, Neumann wants back in. Sources familiar with the situation told the Journal it wasn't immediately clear how Neumann would foot the $500 million bill.

Neumann did not immediately respond to Business Insider's request for comment.

"As we've said previously, WeWork is an extraordinary company and it's no surprise we receive expressions of interest from third parties on a regular basis," WeWork said in a statement to Business Insider. "Our Board and our advisors review those approaches in the ordinary course, to ensure we always act in the best long-term interests of the company. WeWork remains intensely focused on finishing the important work we began back in November, and believe we will emerge from Chapter 11 in the second quarter as a financially strong and profitable company."

March 25, 2024: This story has been updated to include a statement from Flow Global's spokesperson and more context about WeWork's history.

Read the original article on Business Insider