Sources: SoftBank offers WeWork $5 billion buyout
In a bid to rescue the flailing office-sharing startup WeWork, SoftBank has swooped in with a $5 billion offer to keep the company afloat. The deal would make the Japanese technology conglomerate the majority owner. Sources say WeWork could run out of cash as early as next month, after the company pulled plans in September for an initial public offering when investors questioned its sustainability, large losses and corporate governance. Co-founder and CEO Adam Neumann has since stepped down, and now serves as board chairman. Softbank is also proposing to launch a tender offer for up to $3 billion to acquire WeWork shares from existing investors and insiders, including Neumann, the sources said. SoftBank already owns about a third of WeWork, and sources say after the new offer could own 60 to 80 percent. WeWork's board will meet on Tuesday to evaluate Softbank's offer. JPMorgan Chase has been trying to put together an alternative financing package, sources said. WeWork, Softbank and JPMorgan declined to comment.