Adam Neumann drops bid to buy back WeWork

Co-founder says company’s bankruptcy plan “appears unrealistic”

Adam Neuman Drops WeWork Buyback Bid

A photo illustration of Adam Neumann (Getty)

Adam Neumann has acknowledged what had become apparent to most in his bid to take back WeWork.

The co-founder of the beleaguered, bankrupt co-working company conceded in his quest to take back the firm that carried him to prominence, the New York Times reported. While it has been in the spotlight for weeks, Neumann’s bid for WeWork never drew much public attention from company leadership.

“The company looks to be emerging from bankruptcy with a plan that appears unrealistic and unlikely to succeed,” Neumann said in a statement to the Times’ DealBook newsletter.

After Neumann’s offer of more than $500 million to buy the company, software firm Yardi Systems was reported to have struck a deal that would make it WeWork’s majority owner upon its bankruptcy exit. 

Neumann’s attempted bid for WeWork set off a series of claims about the firm’s unwillingness to enter into a non-disclosure agreement ahead of negotiations and claims it has made false statements against the former owner.

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Neumann was forced out of WeWork in 2019 after a failed effort to take the company public. WeWork battled losses for years and filed for bankruptcy last year. Neumann last year launched a new company, Flow, targeting residential apartment management.  

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WeWork’s plan to exit bankruptcy includes a $337 million capital injection from Yardi and $112 million from existing bondholders. The $450 million investment, subject to court approval, will support operations after its bankruptcy, according to a company spokesperson. It will essentially wipe out $4 billion in debt.

WeWork is still working through lease decisions as it looks to reduce $11 billion in rent obligations, though virtually all of its portfolio’s future has been determined. When it re-emerges, the company expects to have 170 U.S. locations and 337 across the globe. 

Holden Walter-Warner