The Japanese investment giant dropped the purchase last week, citing ongoing criminal and civil investigations into the co-working company. A two-member committee of The We Company’s board said the move breached contractual obligations. (Reuters)
Talking point: The tender offer was part of a rescue plan SoftBank put together in October 2019, after WeWork’s initial public offering collapsed over its financial-reporting issues and large losses. WeWork’s occupancy rates have dropped amid the COVID-19 outbreak, but its core rental business was in trouble even before the outbreak, signing just four new leases in the U.S. in the fourth quarter of last year. The loss of SoftBank’s billions may not significantly affect the company’s prospects—ex-CEO Adam Neumann and other minority shareholders were poised to benefit from the share sale. The company said it still has enough cash on the balance sheet and financial commitments to fund its five-year plan.