WeWork, Cushman negotiating $150M partnership

Cushman & Wakefield would invest in WeWork SPAC to help office tenants create flexible workspaces

WeWork CEO Sandeep Mathrani and Cushman CEO Brett White (WeWork, White by Louise-Haywood Schiefer)
WeWork CEO Sandeep Mathrani and Cushman CEO Brett White (WeWork, White by Louise-Haywood Schiefer)

At its greatest heights, WeWork once considered acquiring Cushman & Wakefield. Now, the co-working firm is considering a cash infusion from the commercial real estate giant ahead of a planned SPAC deal later this year.

WeWork and Cushman are in talks about forming a $150 million partnership aimed at helping office tenants adapt to remote work and flexible spaces, the Wall Street Journal reported. Cushman would invest the $150 million in the coming merger between WeWork and BowX Acquisition, a SPAC deal that would finally take the co-working firm public.

Landlords and investors are desperate to try and bring back workers as soon as possible and are willing to invest in amenities to do so. Occupancy rates have been slow to recover as the Delta variant pushes back employers’ plans to bring workers back to the office.

Similar deals have already happened this year. CBRE purchased a 35 percent stake in Industrious, a direct competitor to WeWork, while Newmark has received permission to buy Knotel, which was in bankruptcy.

According to the Journal, Cushman believes WeWork’s technology and “reputation for hip spaces” will be a boost as companies navigate a return to the office after the pandemic, a return that is growing increasingly fragile due to a rise in Covid cases.

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WeWork was recently revealed to have considered acquiring Cushman while Adam Neumann was still its CEO. That interest, however, came before the company’s IPO fell apart in late 2019, leading to a change in leadership and scores of employees being laid off.

WeWork’s upcoming SPAC merger is expected to value the company at $9 billion, including debt.

[WSJ] — Holden Walter-Warner