[bctt tweet=”SoftBank is attempting to redeem itself by taking up 80% control of WeWork after the coworking operator failed to go public, but this isn’t the first time the Japanese conglomerate has attempted to bailout a major company.” username=”allwork_space”]
Six years ago, SoftBank purchased a 72% stake in Sprint, eventually increasing it to 80%, to become a key player in the U.S. wireless industry.
Although WeWork and Sprint are two completely different businesses, they share the same SoftBank executives — Masayoshi Son, Marcelo Claure and Ron Fisher — attempting to make both companies profitable.
In 2018, SoftBank arranged the sale of Sprint for $6.62 per share to T-Mobile, but the conglomerate had acquired its majority stake in Sprint for $7.65 per share just five years prior. When SoftBank bought Sprint, it was the third-largest U.S. wireless carrier. By the time it was sold, it was fourth.
So how could WeWork’s outcome be any different? There is little to no indication that Son, Slaure and Fisher can use their Sprint method to boost investor and employee confidence in WeWork.
Craif Moffett, a telecommunications analyst at MoffettNathanson, explained how catastrophic Sprint’s situation has been, and it feels eerily similar to WeWork’s current standing.
“Sprint has contracted steadily since SoftBank bought it, even in a growing wireless market,” said Moffett. “Their only hope for an exit is to pray their deal to sell it to T-Mobile is approved.”