Earlier this year, WeWork was seen as the godfather of the coworking industry. It’s massive expansion around the world seemingly solidified its stance as a force to be reckoned with — well, until it wasn’t.
Later in the year, after what was supposed to be one of the biggest IPOs of 2019, the company came crashing down as its valuation of $47 billion was slashed to as low as $10 billion. Now, SoftBank has taken majority control in order to recoup WeWork’s losses.
The fallout of the failed IPO led CEO and self-proclaimed business guru Adam Neumann to be ousted from the company, along with a $1.7 billion severance, while thousands of WeWork employees nervously awaited whether they would stay on at the company or not.
Despite all of this, players in the UK property market are coming together to ensure that WeWork doesn’t crumble and fall apart.
WeWork’s massive footprint in the UK, especially in London, makes it a huge source of business for landlords and agents who don’t want to burn bridges just yet. If WeWork started vacating its offices, it would leave over 50 landlords empty-handed.
“WeWork made a lot of traditional property owners sit up and think about what they do and how they behave in the market,” said Nick Deacon, head of offices at Nuveen Real Estate, which owns London’s Devonshire Square with WeWork. “You can see a whole raft of people, including ourselves, start to think more strategically around how we offer space and service to our customers.”
Regardless, it is clear that WeWork needs to slim down its business model that involves an endless supply of lavish amenities like beer-on-tap, game rooms and more.