The Strategist

Adam Neumann's wealth may skyrocket after WeWork's IPO

12/25/2019 - 07:42

Adam Neumann, the founder of WeWork’s coworking network, left the company in the fall, receiving a “severance pay” of almost $ 1.7 billion. This amount could be even bigger if the start-up experiencing serious problems was still allowed to hold an IPO.

Wealth of Adam Neumann, WeWork’s founder who left the startup, can grow by hundreds of millions of dollars if the company conducts an IPO, writes the Financial Times, citing documents and informed sources. Neumann discussed such conditions with the company and its main shareholder - the Japanese investment company SoftBank - in October, when he left WeWork. Then, under the terms of the agreement, he received almost $ 1.7 billion: an option to sell his stake in the holding company We in the amount of about $ 970 million, $ 185 million for working as an exclusive WeWork consultant in the next four years and, finally, a loan of $ 500 million.

If WeWork conducts an IPO, the “severance pay” could become even more significant. The deal revised the terms of the class of shares owned by Neumann, which appeared after the restructuring of the company this year. The terms suggest income from future startup growth. Placing WeWork on the exchange, even at a price significantly lower than what was expected before the crisis, will still bring Neumann hundreds of millions of dollars if the businessman decides to sell his stake, FT points out.

The collapse of WeWork began after the IPO of the company failed. In just a few weeks, investor’s assessment of the startup fell from $ 47 billion to $ 8 billion, and the startup was on the verge of bankruptcy. SoftBank had to spend $ 3 billion to buy back control and take the lead. Head of the company Masayoshi Son admitted that he overestimated the company’s cost, did not notice problems with corporate governance and turned a blind eye to many things.