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Report: WeWork parent to form board committee to review financing offers

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Capital Markets View – January 2021


Report: WeWork parent to form board committee to review financing offers

The We Co. is establishing a two-member special board committee that will review financing proposals from shareholder SoftBank Group Corp. and main lender JPMorgan Chase & Co., four people familiar with the matter told Reuters.

WeWork Cos. Inc.'s parent is raising new funds after postponing its IPO, and sources claim the flexible workspace provider could run out of cash as early as November, the news outlet reported.

The committee will include Bruce Dunlevie, a general partner at WeWork shareholder Benchmark Capital, and Lew Frankfort, former CEO of handbag-maker Coach, according to Reuter's sources, who added that the two will be tasked to represent the interests of all investors in the company. WeWork co-founder Adam Neumann and SoftBank are not going to be part of the committee.

Japan-based SoftBank is reportedly offering to provide roughly $5 billion in financing support in exchange for a larger stake in the company that could potentially give it control. WeWork plans to "ring-fence" the financing deliberations from the influence of its largest shareholder, the sources said.

JPMorgan was also reported to be leading a $5 billion debt package for WeWork.

The sources added that WeWork may opt to combine the offers.

A WeWork spokeswoman declined to comment, and We Co. directors did not immediately respond to Reuters' requests for comment. SoftBank declined to comment, and JPMorgan also did not immediately respond to requests for comment, Reuters added.