Two weeks after acknowledging it might choose not to do an extremely stupid thing, SoftBank has made it official: It will not throw another $3 billion in good money after the $15 billion in bad and save Adam Neumann and WeWork’s venture capital investors from themselves and the terrible choices they (and SoftBank) have made. Not because it can’t afford it; after all, Son can apparently just conjure $41 billion at will. But because he doesn’t have to.
SoftBank said the offer to buy WeWork shares could not close because certain conditions had not been met. These, SoftBank said, included the failure to obtain antitrust approvals and complete takeovers of joint ventures in Asia. It also cited government investigations that began after the offer to buy the shares was signed in October.
Now, if WeWork thinks the only person standing between it and extinction does owe it more than the $5.5 billion he’s given the Komucha-soaked, stricken social-revolution-turned-office-subletter over the last six months, well, it can sue him. And it might! Which would just be the most amazing way to spend Masa Son’s own money.
In a statement, the WeWork board’s committee of independent directors said it was “surprised and disappointed” by SoftBank’s move and would “evaluate all of its legal options, including litigation.”