WeWork Snubs Co-Founder Neumann As It Targets Quick Turnaround From Bankruptcy

After years of enriching himself to the tune of billions from his failed company WeWork, co-founder Adam Neumann is finally getting a small dose of karmic payback.

It was reported yesterday by Bloomberg that WeWork and its main backers, including SoftBank, have reached a new agreement to pull the struggling workspace provider out of bankruptcy, rejecting a rival proposal from co-founder Adam Neumann to buy back the company.

Under the deal, senior lenders will provide about $450 million in financing, gaining equity in the reorganized business. Additionally, SoftBank and other creditors may convert their debt into stock post-bankruptcy. This marks a significant step for WeWork, aiming to emerge from court protection with reduced debt and more efficient leases.

And to not be at the behest of, or enriching, Adam Neumann, will really mark a shift in strategy for WeWork…

A lawyer backing the deal told Bloomberg the deal  “is some of the best news we’ve had in this case,” and said the company is on a “fast and reliable path out of bankruptcy.”

WeWork aims to exit bankruptcy swiftly due to the high costs and unsustainable administrative expenses of the Chapter 11 proceedings. The proposed restructuring, backed by most senior debt holders and unsecured creditors, sidelines co-founder Adam Neumann’s bid to repurchase the company.

Neumann’s offer, valued at $650 million, hinges on winning support from senior lenders, who are crucial to the deal’s success. However, WeWork’s advisors have rebuffed Neumann’s attempts to negotiate and have proceeded with the restructuring without public bidding on the company’s assets.

Bloomberg reported that US Bankruptcy Judge John K. Sherwood emphasized the lenders’ prerogative to decide on negotiations with Neumann based on their economic interests. If executed, the restructuring would result in majority ownership by Yardi’s investment arm and involvement from WeWork bondholders.

SoftBank would retain ownership stake, initially at least 16.5%, potentially increasing to 36% depending on the treatment of letters of credit. WeWork must finalize the proposed deal into a contract and seek creditor approval for its broader reorganization plan.

The report notes that Neumann could still contest the deal by petitioning Sherwood to reject the reorganization proposal. 

And, normally taking the punchbowl away from someone who has already “earned” billions he didn’t deserve shouldn’t be of any concern, but we’re sure Neumann’s ego won’t let that be the case. We’re certain protest and prolonged litigation from Neumann will come from this, claiming he was “unfairly” snubbed…

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