Adam Neumann sues SoftBank for strolling away from $three billion WeWork share buyout

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The lawsuit, filed within the Delaware Courtroom of Chancery on Monday and shared with CNN Enterprise by a consultant for Neumann, accuses SoftBank and its SoftBank Vision Fund of “secretly taking actions to undermine” the share buyout settlement earlier than backing out on April 1.
In line with the lawsuit, the tender provide was a part of a rescue package agreed to late final 12 months, when WeWork’s botched IPO left the office-sharing startup teetering on the sting of insolvency — till SoftBank stepped in with the bailout, price roughly $10 billion on the time.

Neumann resigned as WeWork CEO and stepped down from the corporate’s board final 12 months after overseeing a disastrous try to take the agency public. The shared workspace supplier’s extremely anticipated IPO was shelved after traders balked at its valuation and criticized its company governance.

WeWork’s valuation, which had ballooned to $47 billion at one level, collapsed to roughly $Eight billion when the SoftBank bailout was agreed to in October.

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SoftBank (SFTBF) walked away from that deal in early April, saying the share buyout was topic to sure situations that weren’t met. The Japanese agency listed in a statement at the time a number of ways in which WeWork failed to meet these situations, together with the existence of pending prison and civil investigations into the corporate, world restrictions associated to the coronavirus which are affecting WeWork’s operations and the failure to restructure a three way partnership in China. WeWork declined to remark on the time, however a particular committee of the corporate’s board mentioned it was “shocked and disillusioned” by SoftBank’s choice, including that it could consider all authorized choices. The committee filed a lawsuit in opposition to SoftBank final month.

Neumann’s lawsuit accuses SoftBank and the Imaginative and prescient Fund of “undermining” the three way partnership in China by pressuring its traders to not waive sure rights that may have allowed the restructuring to undergo.

“SoftBank will vigorously defend itself in opposition to these meritless claims,” Rob Townsend, the Japanese conglomerate’s chief authorized officer, mentioned in an announcement. “Below the phrases of our settlement, which Adam Neumann signed, SoftBank had no obligation to finish the tender provide through which Mr. Neumann — the largest beneficiary — sought to promote almost $1 billion in inventory,” he added.

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Neumann’s lawsuit follows one filed last month by the particular committee of WeWork’s board, which mentioned SoftBank and its CEO, Masayoshi Son, had been affected by “purchaser’s regret.” SoftBank known as that lawsuit “a determined and misguided try” to rewrite final 12 months’s settlement, emphasizing once more that the share buy was topic to sure situations.

Neumann is asking that the 2 lawsuits be mixed. WeWork declined to touch upon Neumann’s lawsuit.

The lawsuits come as SoftBank faces large losses on a few of its greatest bets, together with WeWork, and grapples with the financial fallout from the coronavirus pandemic. The Japanese agency final week widened its forecast for a web loss within the 12 months led to March to $8.four billion, saying it expects to lose $6.6 billion from its funding in WeWork alone.

— CNN’s Sherisse Pham and Sara O’Brien contributed to this report


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