Five years after driving WeWork into the ground, co-founder and ousted CEO Adam Neumann has now hatched a plan to buy it out of bankruptcy. In a letter to WeWork’s advisors obtained by The New York Times, Neumann and his new real estate business Flow Global express interest in buying the co-working space solution — but claims WeWork has been ignoring attempts to get more information so they can come up with a bid.
Neumann and his real estate company Flow Global have been exploring a purchase of WeWork since December 2023, with the help of funding from Dan Loeb’s hedge fund Third Point. However, as noted in the letter written by Neumann’s attorney, Alex Spiro — the same person who represents Elon Musk — WeWork doesn’t seem interested in entertaining Neumann’s potential offer.
“We write to express our dismay with WeWork’s lack of engagement even to provide information to my clients in what is intended to be a value-maximizing transaction for all stakeholders,” Spiro writes. I wonder why? With Neumann at the helm, the once-$47 billion company threw out plans for an initial public offering in 2019. That’s around the same time Neumann stepped down (but not before taking a $1.7 billion payout, of course).
Japanese tech firm SoftBank bought out 80 percent of the company later that year. But ultimately, new leadership and funding weren’t enough to save the company, as WeWork filed for bankruptcy last November. Still, Neumann and his investors believe there’s some hope.
“In a hybrid work world where demand for WeWork’s product should be greater than ever… the synergies and management expertise offered by an acquisition by my clients could significantly exceed the value of the Debtors on a stand-alone basis,” the letter reads.
The letter doesn’t detail how much Neumann and Co. would actually pay to get WeWork, but it states they’re “ready to submit a detailed proposal” to purchase WeWork or its assets. The only thing standing in their way is, well, WeWork. As revealed in the letter, the collapsed firm already turned down an offer of $1 billion in funding from Neumann in October 2022 — and I think that pretty much speaks for itself.