Adam Neumann, co-founder of WeWork and former CEO, is in advanced talks to settle a high-level legal fight with SoftBank Group Corp. by agreeing to a nearly $ 500 million cut in his payment from the new owner of the shared office company , a move that would help pave the way for WeWork’s second attempt to advertise.
According to the terms discussed, SoftBank would spend around $ 1.5 billion to buy the shares of WeWork’s early investors and employees, including nearly $ 500 million to buy shares of Mr. Neumann – in both cases, about half. of what she initially agreed to, according to people familiar with the discussions.
SoftBank took a controlling stake in WeWork after its attempted initial public offering failed in 2019 when public investors were reluctant to buy shares in the losing company, as well as conflicts of interest and erratic behavior from Mr. Neumann. Mr Neumann resigned under pressure from his CEO post following the IPO debacle.
Negotiations have been difficult at times and there is no guarantee that they will lead to a deal, but if there is one it could be finalized in the next few days, people said.
If there was a settlement, it could be followed by another deal as WeWork is also in talks to partner with a special purpose acquisition company, a move that would ultimately convert it to a public company.