WeWork Cos. Inc.'s board has approved SoftBank Group Corp.'s takeover of the coworking giant, with former CEO Adam Neumann set to receive a roughly $1.7 billion payout to cut most of his ties with the company he co-founded, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.
The deal values The We Co. unit at around $8 billion. Earlier in 2019, WeWork had raised capital at a $47 billion valuation before it ended up postponing its IPO after valuation cuts.
WeWork approved the SoftBank rescue deal over a competing proposal from JPMorgan Chase & Co., the publication noted, citing the unnamed sources.
Japanese conglomerate SoftBank already owns around one-third of WeWork and would buy roughly $1 billion worth of stock in We Co. from Neumann as part of the deal. Neumann will also receive about $500 million in credit from SoftBank to help repay a $500 million loan facility led by JPMorgan. Neumann is also set to receive a $185 million consulting fee, the publication added, citing the people.
Neumann is expected to step down from WeWork's board but will keep a stake in the company and stay on as a board observer, the sources told the Journal.
WeWork's board is expected to announce the deal Oct. 22, but the announcement could be delayed, the publication reported, citing the sources.