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Ousted WeWork Co-Founder Adam Neumann Set To Get $50 Million Settlement

We’ve covered the shenanigans of former WeWork CEO Adam Neumann during his time running the company he co-founded. He might soon reach a settlement in his legal dispute with SoftBank, which would bring a sizable payout.

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We’ve written about Adam Neumann’s antics while leading the business he helped build, WeWork. He has a distinctive management style and is, for lack of a better description, a colorful guy. Unfortunately for him, that managerial approach essentially destroyed his business, necessitating SoftBank’s intervention and investment in WeWork in an effort to turn things around. When we last covered Neumann, it was because WeWork had terminated his $185 million consultancy contract as a result of his alleged breach of the terms. It now appears that Neumann will receive a respectable salary. SoftBank and Neumann reportedly tried to reconcile their acrimonious disagreement. As of the time of this writing, SoftBank is preparing to purchase $1.5 billion worth of shares from the company that provides shared office space. About $500 million of the stock would be acquired from Neumann as part of the proposed transaction. That is only half of what SoftBank had originally intended to purchase.

The agreement also specifies a $50 million payment to Neumann and a five-year extension of the $430 million loan he obtained in late 2019. According to reports, SoftBank will also cover Neumann’s $50 million in legal expenses as part of the agreement. How much SoftBank will contribute toward the legal costs of other stockholders is still unknown. If this arrangement is approved, the parties will be able to postpone the trial that is presently planned for early March. WeWork planned to go public in 2019 and that fell apart when questions about Neumann’s odd style of leadership surfaced. The business was not only losing money, but it was also losing a lot of money. Neumann left his position as CEO and the board at that time.

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WeWork has been impacted by the recession brought on by the coronavirus just like many other companies. But according to SoftBank, the business will turn a profit by the end of 2021. It is hoped that in 2020 and 2021, with so many people working from home, businesses will realize they don’t need such big offices. WeWork and SoftBank anticipate that flexible workspace, like the one they offer, will become the norm. WeWork was aiming for a $47 billion value when it was ready to go public in September 2019. Just a few months later, the valuation was just $8 billion. WeWork needs to be between 67 and 68 percent full to be profitable. WeWork was probably between 80 and 85 percent full prior to the outbreak. Additionally, WeWork is pursuing a separate agreement with a SPAC business called BowX Acquisition Corp. that would allow the business to go public. In the event that negotiations don’t break down, that deal ought to be finalized as soon as next week.

WeWork and SoftBank’s legal saga has been ongoing for months. Everything began with the agreement Softbank made in October 2019 to purchase $3 billion in stock from WeWork stockholders, including $1 billion from Neumann. After WeWork’s anticipated IPO was postponed, SoftBank intervened to save the company.