A surprising ousted character from the WeWork saga may have played a part in the coworking company going public again.
Reports found that in November, Adam Neumann, the company’s cofounder and former CEO of WeWork, met with the head of BowX Acquisition Corp, the special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) that WeWork plans to merge with in a $9 million deal.
During this time, Neumann and SoftBank were in the midst of a legal battle after the Japanese conglomerate walked away from a $3 billion tender offer. The lawsuit was settled last month after the two parties reached an agreement for SoftBank to pay half of its original commitment.
Sources said that Neumann and co-chief executive of BowX Acquisition Vivek Ranadivé met over a Zoom call that was facilitated by a senior UBS capital markets banker, but this occurred before the SPAC chief met with WeWork.
Ranadivé’s SPAC was seeking an acquisition target after raising $420 million in an IPO last August, and Neumann’s boisterous discussion of WeWork caught his attention.
However, the sources with knowledge of the meeting said it occurred on the condition of anonymity and Neumann had no role in the new agreement after his initial conversation with Ranadivé.
The new SPAC deal will help alleviate the blow that SoftBank has faced after its massive investments into the coworking company totaled $18.5 billion.