For anyone who still thinks there is salvageable value in the smoldering wreckage post-Adam Neumann WeWork, please take heed of this advice from a noted expert in smoldering wreckage.
Bill Ackman sees a risk of SoftBank having to write off all of its investment in WeWork, he told the Robin Hood investor conference in New York on Tuesday.
And when Mr. Neri Oxman means that "all of its investment" he really means "all of it":
“I think WeWork has a pretty high probability of being a zero for the equity, as well as for the debt,” the billionaire hedge fund manager said. “As someone who has put good money after bad, I think this looks like putting good money after bad, and SoftBank should have walked away.”
This is fingertip-kissing beautiful shade from Bill. What he's essentially saying is that SoftBank caught a nasty case of backwards Ackmania. Instead of getting caught up in a Don Quixote-esque short of a company that is worth no money despite convincing a bunch of people that it was worth all the money, Masa Son and his squad ended up on the latter half of that equation and are now $16 billion deep into something valued at just under $8 billion. Or - according to Bill Ackman's math - $0.
Mr Ackman, who has not invested in WeWork and claims no inside knowledge, described its co-founder Adam Neumann as “an amazing salesman” but warned that it remained “enormously levered”.
Now, we don't want to get too "Circle of Life" here, but there is something rather familiar about a gray-haired activist investor of some repute sitting in an armchair on stage at an investment conference and laughing at people for getting caught up in bad, over-levered investment...come to think of it, where was Carl Icahn yesterday, and how much does he know about deepfake technology?