SoftBank reaches settlement with former WeWork CEO Adam Neumann – ET RealEstate

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BENGALURU: SoftBank Group Corp said on Friday it has reached a settlement with WeWork‘s special committee and the company’s co-founder and former chief executive, Adam Neumann, putting to rest a legal battle dating back to 2019.

SoftBank, the new owner of the office-sharing firm, did not disclose terms of the settlement. Media reports earlier this week indicated the deal includes a nearly $500 million cut in Neumann’s payout from SoftBank.

The legal tussle between SoftBank and Neumann started in 2019, when SoftBank agreed to buy around $3 billion in WeWork stock belonging to Neumann as well as current and former WeWork employees. SoftBank later contested its obligation to purchase the shares.

Under the new settlement, SoftBank will purchase around half the shares it had originally agreed to buy, a source familiar with the talks had told Reuters on Monday.

The settlement is also expected to clear the decks for WeWork as it reportedly pursues a public listing by merging with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC).

“This agreement is the result of all parties coming to the table for the sake of doing what is best for the future of WeWork,” said Marcelo Claure, executive chairman of WeWork and CEO of SoftBank Group International.

SoftBank, which poured more than $13.5 billion into WeWork, was pulled into the legal dispute with directors at WeWork after backing out of the $3 billion tender offer agreed when it bailed out the office-sharing firm following a flopped IPO attempt.



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WeWork in talks to go public through SPAC deal – ET RealEstate

BENGALURU | TOKYO: WeWork is in talks to go public through a merger with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) and is also exploring raising funds from private investors, a little over a year after its botched initial public offering (IPO), according to a source familiar with the matter.

The office-sharing startup’s plans for its high-profile IPO imploded spectacularly in October 2019 due to widespread criticism over the office-sharing startup’s business model and its founder Adam Neumann’s management style.

A source directly familiar with the matter said that WeWork had held talks with at least three blank-check firms over the past two months, cautioning that current talks could fall apart.

“We have SPACs approaching us on a weekly basis,” WeWork Executive Chairman Marcelo Claure said at a Bloomberg conference. Claure is also chief operating officer of SoftBank Group Corp, which bailed out the startup.

The Wall Street Journal earlier reported that WeWork was in talks with a SPAC affiliated with Bow Capital Management LLC and a deal could value WeWork at nearly $10 billion.

A spokeswoman for the office-sharing startup confirmed in a statement that the company was exploring options, including a deal with a blank-check firm.

“Over the past year, WeWork has remained focused on executing our plans for achieving profitability. Our significant progress combined with the increased market demand for flexible space, shows positive signs for our business,” the company said.

“We will continue to explore opportunities that help us move closer towards our goals,” it added.

WeWork was valued at nearly $47 billion in 2019 but saw its valuation plummet to roughly $8 billion after SoftBank was forced to extend a life-saving financing lifeline to WeWork.



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Microsoft leases 1.8 lakh sq ft flexible space in Bengaluru – ET RealEstate

BENGALURU: Microsoft has leased 180,000 sq ft of flexible space with Tablespace Technologies in Bengaluru as it seeks to expand operations. The new facility, located on the Outer Ring Road, will come up at Tablespace Technologies’ coworking space and will seat 2,000 people.

“The entire fit-out will be done by Tablespace and the tech giant will pay a rent of around Rs 16,000 per desk. The facility has a lock-in period of two years,” said a person aware of the deal. This is the second flexible office deal signed by Microsoft this year.

Earlier, the firm had signed a deal for 150,000 sq ft of space with WeWork in Noida. “Microsoft had a leasing requirement of 1 million sft in Bengaluru for long-term consolidation but due to business uncertainties, it is looking for flexible space as it is easy to downsize such facilities, ” said another person aware of the deal.

Microsoft currently occupies 550,000 sq ft on Outer Ring Road, the tech hub of Bengaluru. The software giant has operations in 11 cities in India and employs about 8,000 people across the country.

In October, the Seattle-based technology giant decided to expand its work-from-home policy and make it permanent for some workers. The firm has released the new ‘hybrid workplace’ model that allows employees to work from home freely for less than 50% of their working week with managers able to approve permanent remote working.



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Microsoft leases about 1.5 lakh sq ft office space at KP Tower in Noida – ET RealEstate

Tech giant Microsoft has signed a lease deal for nearly 150,000 sq ft of premium office space at KP Tower in Noida through co-working operator WeWork, two persons aware of the deal said.

KP Tower is part of the 12.5 acres Delhi One project, which was launched by the 3C group and later went into insolvency.

Max Estates, the property arm of Max Group, is in the process of acquiring this prime commercial complex at the Delhi-Noida border through the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) resolution process for Rs 550 crore, which will be paid to the debtors in tranches over four years.

There are already four operational towers in the complex; one serviced apartment tower and four commercial towers are under construction.

“Because of its location, which is close to Delhi and Noida Expressway, the rentals here are almost at par with grade A assets in Gurgaon. The remaining part of the project has been taken over by Max Group,” said one person aware of the deal.

Earlier this year, Microsoft had announced the launch of the India Development Centre (IDC) in Noida and had signed an agreement with the UttarPradesh government.

WeWork and Microsoft declined to comment on the deal.

“The deal has been signed at Rs 111 per sq ft, although the rental in Noida ranges between Rs 60-80 per sq ft,” said another person.

Microsoft is also in talks to lease over 1.2 million sq ft office space in Bengaluru.

The company currently occupies 550,000 sq ft in Outer Ring Road, Bengaluru.

Microsoft India has been on an expansion spree and leasing more office space in the last two years to house its growing employee population.

The software giant has operations in 11 cities in India and employs about 8,000 people across the country.

According to property consultants, demand for office spaces in Noida has been on a high growth trajectory after availability dwindled in the national capital.

“Commercial realty market is witnessing an upward trend and more and more buyers and investors are showing their interest in it because the commercial asset class has performed much better than the residential sector over the last few years,” said AjayRakheja, national head, 360 Realtors-Commercial.

Lower rent, new supply and infrastructure development have boosted demand in Noida’s key sectors such as sectors 16 and 62 and NoidaExpressway.



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