|PRESENTED BY A TEMPLATE FOR UNDERSTANDING BIG DEBT CRISES|
|By Dan Primack ·Oct 10, 2018|
|Top of the Morning|
The Wall Street Journal last night reported that SoftBank Vision Fund is "in discussions to take a majority stake in WeWork," the co-working space giant in which SoftBank last year acquired a 20% stake for $4.4 billion. Here's what we've learned, per sources familiar:
WeWork co-founder and CEO Adam Neumann originally was amenable to a deal whereby he'd lose at least short-term control of the company, but with the ability to regain control were WeWork to hit certain revenue milestones (e.g. some sort of clawback). Now, however, the talks involve Neumann retaining short-term control, although the ultimate structure could be pretty convoluted.
But no final agreement is signed or very close to being signed, and there may even be talks with other parties or with SoftBank about alternate structures.
SoftBank basically wants to accelerate its "gain market share at all costs" strategy, which has been talked about inside of WeWork since the day SoftBank first invested.
WeWork bonds, which recently hit their lowest mark since early June, are getting a small bump from the report, re-approaching 96 cents on the dollar.
I'm still wondering how the Jamal Khashoggi situation — which intensified last night — would play into WeWork's willingness to give Saudi-backed Vision Fund an even bigger stake.
• Dating docket: Match Group yesterday responded to Sean Rad and the other founders of dating app Tinder, who sued Match and parent company IAC two months ago for allegedly undervaluing Tinder last year, thus depriving them of compensation. In short, Match argued in a new court filing that this is just sour grapes from those who sold their shares too soon and is asking a New York court to dismiss the lawsuit. Go deeper.
🎧 Pro Rata Podcast: Our latest episode focuses on Google's latest user data leak, and why it took so long to disclose. Listen here.
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