Japanese conglomerate SoftBank is reportedly in talks to take control of embattled WeWork, after a failed IPO and the resignation of its CEO last month, according to CNBC, citing sources close to the company.
The deal would reportedly give SoftBank control of at least 70 percent of the company, according to the reporting and would value WeWork somewhere between $7.5 billion and $8 billion.
The valuation is a far cry from the lofty perch WeWork stood on prior to filing the paperwork to go public, earlier this year. That filing showed that WeWork’s parent company, We Company, lost $1.9 billion last year, while posting revenue of $1.8 billion. After the filing was made public, We Company eventually pulled the document and canceled its initial public offering.
WeWork’s valuation was at one point speculated to be as high as $47 billion, but around the time of its attempted IPO, that valuation had plummeted to around $15 billion, according to speculation. Now, the reported valuation is half that.
WeWork is hoping its takeover – and the subsequent infusion of cash – can help WeWork become profitable, according to CNBC’s reporting. At the same time, the company is reportedly delaying “thousands” of layoffs because it can’t afford to pay severance, according to the Wall Street Journal.
WeWork’s recent struggles have led many to speculate what it means for Compass, another real estate-related tech startup that’s received a mountain of capital from SoftBank. Compass has attempted to distance itself from WeWork, outlining the different business models, frugal executive spending and its lack of debt.
Nonetheless, Compass’ most recent reported valuation, according to the company, clocked in at $6.4 billion, which isn’t far from where WeWork is currently valued.
A spokesperson for SoftBank declined to comment on the report.