WeWork’s Valuation Has Dropped to $2.9 Billion, SoftBank Says

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(Bloomberg) -- The valuation of WeWork has tumbled to $2.9 billion amid the coronavirus pandemic and its ongoing business struggles, a tiny fraction of its peak when the office-sharing company was among the world’s leading startups.

WeWork’s latest valuation was disclosed as SoftBank Group Corp., its largest shareholder, reported earnings on Monday. WeWork had been valued at $7.8 billion at the end of September after the Japanese company agreed to a bailout. Even that was far from its once-lofty $47 billion valuation.

SoftBank took control of the company last year and pushed out co-founder Adam Neumann. SoftBank is now locked in a legal battle with Neumann after the Japanese company scrapped a $3 billion deal to buy stock from him and other shareholders as part of the bailout.

Neumann, who was set to reap the biggest windfall from the transaction, claims SoftBank and its Vision Fund relied on legally faulty pretexts to renege on an agreement to purchase the shares as the conglomerate’s financial position weakened, according to a copy of the complaint reviewed by Bloomberg.

Rob Townsend, the chief legal officer at SoftBank, described the claims as “meritless” in an emailed statement. “Under the terms of our agreement, which Adam Neumann signed, SoftBank had no obligation to complete the tender offer,” Townsend said.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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