Japan’s SoftBank, which has already invested more than US$8 billion in WeWork, has radically scaled back plans for fresh investment in WeWork. The Group Corp has decided against taking a controlling stake in real estate company WeWork and is instead planning to invest an additional $2 billion in the shared workspace company.
The company had discussed making a dominant position in the co-working start-up, potentially spending US$16 billion to buy a more substantial position in the company, said people who are familiar with the matter and requested anonymity because the talks are private. SoftBank is in detailed negotiations to inject $2bn into WeWork this year.
Recently WeWork’s 7.875 percent bonds, which are due in 2025, fell to 86 cents on Monday afternoon in New York. According to the deal, it will now not include the participation of Softbank’s Vision Fund, which had been a valuable backup of Softbank’s existing investment of more than $8bn in WeWork.
At one point during deal talks, SoftBank reportedly sought a controlling stake in the company. But roiling markets and economic uncertainty have hit WeWork and its largest investor. Since the beginning of December, SoftBank’s stock price has dropped nearly 20%.
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SoftBank, the equally ambitious company that invests billions through its Vision Fund, first invested in WeWork in 2017. People close to the company said the financing would help fuel cofounder and CEO Adam Neumann’s ambitious growth plans. The new investment brings SoftBank’s commitment to WeWork to more than $10 billion, including investments in WeWork China, a joint venture.