Mar 16, 2023
WeWork Nears Deal for Capital Injection and Debt Conversion, Sources Say
(Bloomberg) -- WeWork Inc. struck a deal to cut about $1.5 billion of debt on a net basis and secured more than $1 billion of capital commitments as Chief Executive Officer Sandeep Mathrani works to push the firm toward profitability.
As part of the debt reduction, key investor SoftBank Group Corp. will convert $1 billion of unsecured notes into equity, WeWork said Friday in a statement, confirming an earlier Bloomberg News report. The coworking company also said it will delay filing its annual report.
WeWork shares slipped less than 1% to 97 cents at 10:55 a.m. New York time Friday, after surging 13% on Thursday on the news that it was nearing a deal. The stock has dropped 32% this year.
The transaction marks a major step for the coworking company to get back on firmer footing after a botched attempt at an initial public offering in 2019 and the high-profile ousting of its co-founder Adam Neumann.
Under Mathrani’s leadership, the company eventually went public, sold off side businesses and ended leases with less-profitable buildings. And while the pandemic pressured office companies, WeWork’s occupancy levels have bounced back from the lows.
Still, the startup is burning through cash. Mathrani initially projected that the company would be profitable by the end of 2021. In Friday’s statement, WeWork projected that it’ll have positive adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization this fiscal year.
WeWork’s recent results signaled some optimism: Adjusted EBITDA was positive in December for the first time in the company’s history.
The deal announced Friday will bolster the firm’s liquidity with about $540 million in new funding, $175 million in capital commitments, and $300 million in rolled capital commitments, according to the statement.
WeWork said the transactions will “result in a more sustainable capital structure” for the company. The firm was also able to extend about $1.6 billion of debt maturities to August 2027.
(Updates with annual report delay in second paragraph, shares in third paragraph and debt details in the last paragraph.)
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