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SoftBank expected to buy WeWork shares worth $750M in IPO: Report

Ann Schmidt

Japanese technology company SoftBank Group Corp. is planning to buy $750 million of the shares in WeWork’s upcoming initial public offering, according to a new report.

We Company’s offering is also expected to raise at least $3 billion, according to The Wall Street Journal, which cited people familiar with the matter.

By buying the shares, SoftBank would have at least 25 percent of the shares in We’s offering. The company is already We’s biggest investor, according to The Journal.

With SoftBank’s buy-in, We would be valued between $15 billion and $20 billion, which is much lower than the $47 billion that We was valued at earlier this year when SoftBank had previously bought in, the newspaper reported.

However, there is no guarantee the company will be able to achieve its anticipated valuation or that it will be able to pull off its offering, sources told The Journal.

The most recent report comes after an earlier announcement that We has chosen to list its shares on the Nasdaq exchange and plans changes in its governance.

The workspace provider will reportedly begin officially marketing the shares to investors next week ahead of a trading debut the week of Sept. 23, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The company is also expected to set a preliminary price range by next week.

An issue being discussed involved curbing the voting power of founder Adam Neumann, according to a Reuters report.

Neumann has 20 times the voting power of ordinary shareholders.


This comes at a time when IPO demand is surging for companies who show they are on a path to profitability, according to the Journal, adding that the roughly 50 percent drop in valuation would hurt investors who have given or committed to over $10 billion to the company.

The company, which was founded in 2010, filed paperwork in August to go public.

FOX Business' Ken Martin and Daniella Genovese contributed to this article.

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