Adam Neumann, who sold his office space-sharing company WeWork in 2021 only for it to declare bankruptcy in November 2023, is now looking to buy the company back from creditors.
As Valuetainment previously reported, WeWork’s history has been a long and winding saga, going from a startup valued at $47 billion to a downwardly spiraling trainwreck that had to sell off countless locations before eventually folding under insurmountable debts.
After much controversy surrounding his leadership of the company and accusations of conflicts of interest baked into the IPO filing, Neumann agreed to step down with a significant stake. He then sold about $480 million of his stake, said to be half, to SoftBank in 2021. But later that year it was reported he still had $722 million in the company, and it is unclear whether he sold it.
According to its court filing, by the fall of 2023, WeWork had amassed $18 billion in debt. The company came to the negotiating table after struggling for months to make basic interest payments, and through a legal trial, it began to restructure itself with creditors.
– Be like Adam Neumann
– Found WeWork
– Build to $47 billion valuation
– Don't wear shoes
– Get kicked out as CEO
– Get $445 million golden parachute
– Start new company
– Raise $350 million from a16z
– Try to buy back WeWork after it goes bankrupt
– Be like Adam Neumann pic.twitter.com/xEaaeuaMhw
— Morning Brew ☕️ (@MorningBrew) February 6, 2024
But now, the former CEO and co-founder wants to buy his company back with the expected intention of becoming CEO again. Neumann’s legal team reportedly sent a letter to WeWork advisors to inform them that he was teaming up with investors, including the Third Point hedge fund, to explore purchasing options.
While creditors have made it known that they are looking to sell the company, its executives are rumored to be uninterested in offering it to Neumann, who was known for his immature antics and head-scratching moves when he served as chief executive. The current executives reportedly prevented him from accessing information critical for would-be buyers of the firm after he broached the topic in December.
A spokesperson for Third Point said the firm “has not made a commitment to participate in any transaction” and so far has had “only preliminary conversations” with Neumann’s real estate company Flow Global. Neumann is also working on a new startup called Flow, which aims to help renters build equity in their homes. Neumann successfully convinced venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz to give him $350 million for it, bringing the company valuation up to $1 billion.
Nevertheless, WeWork’s legal team did say on Monday that the company is lacking cash and needs injections desperately in order to pay its various bankruptcy costs.
Shane Devine is a writer covering politics, economics, and culture for Valuetainment. Follow Shane on X (Twitter).