WeWork's ex-CEO Adam Neumann wants to buy company out of bankruptcy

MONEY & BUSINESS: WeWork’s ex-CEO Adam Neumann wants to buy company out of bankruptcy

Adam Neumann, WeWork’s disgraced billionaire founder, has reportedly spent the past several months trying to buy back the bankrupt co-working giant after being ousted as its CEO five years ago.

A team of lawyers led by Alex Spiro of Quinn Emanuel — who also represents Elon Musk and Jay-Z — penned a letter earlier reported on by The New York Times detailing Neumann’s attempts to purchase his once-high-flying startup via his new real estate company, Flow Global.

The Monday letter to WeWork’s advisers said Flow — which has raised $350 million from venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz — would get additional cash from hedge fund titan Dan Loeb to buy WeWork or its assets, as well as provide bankruptcy financing.

In the note, Flow’s counsel also accused WeWork’s advisers of a “lack of engagement even to provide information to my clients in what is intended to be a value-maximizing transaction for all stakeholders.”

WeWork’s founder Adam Neumann — who was ousted as the company’s CEO in 2019 — wants his latest venture, Flow Global, to buy WeWork and or its assets, as well as provide bankruptcy financing. Getty Images

Spiro said that Neumann and affiliates of latest venture have worked since December “to obtain information necessary for an offer to purchase the company or its assets,” though “they still do not have access to that information.”

The 44-year-old Neumann — who was ousted as chief in 2019 over reports about his outlandish behavior — has been trying to reinvest in WeWork for years. In October 2022, he sought to arrange “up to $1 billion in financing to stabilize WeWork.

But the company’s then-chief, Sandeep Mathrani, “shut down that process without explanation,” according to the letter.

Neumann’s attorneys also argue in the letter that Flow’s takeover of WeWork “could significantly exceed the value of the debtors on a standalone basis.”

“WeWork should at least educate itself about that potential and not preclude itself from maximizing value,” Spiro concludes.

Spiro declined to comment further. The Post has also sought comment from WeWork.

The lawyers’ letter to WeWork’s advisers sent Monday said that hedge fund titan Dan Loeb (pictured) would help finance a transaction between Flow andWeWork. REUTERS
WeWork filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in November 2023. The startup, once valued at $47 billion and operating more than 850 co-working locations, now boasts just 630 global offices, according to its website. REUTERS

Before Neumann was kicked out of the firm after a string of controversies — including when he left a wad of marijuana stuffed in a cereal box on a borrowed private plane and abruptly announced that WeWork was banning meat at employee events — he was reportedly able to extract huge amounts of cash from his company before it stumbled into financial ruin.

Neumann was also handed $200 million in cash as part of a sweetheart exit package, meaning he has been able to maintain his billionaire status despite WeWork’s Chapter 11 proceedings, which were initiated in November, when it had $19 billion in liabilities and $15 billion in assets.

Neumann has since stayed under the radar building a new startup, Flow — a starkly different narrative from WeWork’s peak, when it was valued at $47 billion and a seemingly carefree Neumann pounded champagne at events as early as 9 a.m.

Ahead of Spiro’s letter, there were rumblings as early as October — when Neumann’s non-compete expired — that he could have a type of reunion with the company post-bankruptcy.

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