Softbank is set to increase its stake by 10.5% in WeWork through the purchase of shares worth $1.5bn from the early investors, including 25% of co-founder Adam Neumann’s stake worth ~$480mn. According to CNBC, the conglomerate is likely to offer the initially agreed price of $19.19 for each share of WeWork. A successful deal would help settle the 2019 legal dispute between the two parties that was filed after WeWork’s failed IPO in August 2019. After the incident, which resulted in lowering the co-working company’s valuation to $10bn from $47bn, Neumann was forced to step down as CEO and SoftBank had offered to pay $3bn to bailout the company that included a payment of ~$970mn to Neumann. Later the Masayoshi Son-led group retracted the offer after the office space sector was hit hard by the pandemic. The deal and settlement of the legal dispute would pave the way for a second IPO as WeWork could be combined with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) BowX Acquisition in a deal that could value the company at ~$10bn as per Wall Street Journal. SoftBank has invested ~$13.5bn in the office leasing company and even after the deal, Newmann will remain a major shareholder in WeWork.
Softbank’s 6% perps were up 0.16 to trade at 101.7 while its 5.125% 2027s were down 0.32 to trade at 110. WeWork’s 7.875% 2025s were up 2.65 to trade at 89.15 cents on the dollar on the secondary market.
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