SoftBank Group withdraws $3 bil. tender offer plan for WeWork

02, Apr. 2020

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TOKYO, Kyodo - SoftBank Group Corp. said Thursday it has withdrawn a plan to buy up to $3 billion worth of shares in the operator of WeWork as part of a bailout package to rebuild the struggling U.S. co-working space operator.

The Japanese investment giant said it had scrapped part of the rescue scheme as "certain conditions to the tender offer were not satisfied," citing the New York based-company's failure to obtain the necessary antitrust approvals by Wednesday.

Many governments have also restricted WeWork's operations due to the coronavirus pandemic.

SoftBank Group said in a statement that the termination of the tender offer will have no impact on WeWork's operations, customers and its five-year business and strategic plan.

The Japanese investment company had expected to book an unspecified non-operating loss from the planned purchase of the U.S. firm's stocks in the business year ended March 31.

Under an agreement between the two companies last October, SoftBank pledged to provide up to $9.5 billion to WeWork, including the $3 billion tender offer for existing shareholders and additional $5 billion funding.

SoftBank Group had previously planned to acquire about an 80 percent stake in WeWork but not to hold a majority of voting rights and make the operator a subsidiary.

The Japanese company and its Vision Fund have invested more than $14.25 billion in total in the U.S. co-working space provider, including $5.45 billion since October.

WeWork decided to accept the rescue plan offered by SoftBank Group after withdrawing its initial public offering plan last September as its mounting losses raised doubts about its business outlook. (Kyodo)