Via Yahoo Finance

Softbank is reportedly seeking to take control of WeWork in a move that would further wrest power from former chief executive and founder Adam Neumann. 

The beleaguered office space company has been looking to secure its future after a plan for a multi-billion dollar flotation on the public market collapsed last month.

The Softbank plan, which involves several billion dollars of new investment, is one alternative to another proposal to raise funds through JP Morgan, the Wall Street Journal reported. 

Softbank’s Vision Fund currently owns roughly a third of the firm. 

A spokeswoman for WeWork said: “WeWork has retained a major Wall Street financial institution to arrange a financing. 

“Approximately 60 financing sources have signed confidentiality agreements and are meeting with the company’s management and its bankers over the course of this past week and this coming week.”

Mr Neumann was forced to resign as chief executive after the flotation collapsed following concern about the company’s finances, but he retains the role of chairman and is still the largest individual shareholder.

Concerns were raised over some aspects of his management, including borrowing more than $700m against his stock in the company and a deal that it would pay him $6m for the use of the word “We”, an arrangement that was cancelled last month. 

He also owns shares which have up to three times the voting power of those owned by others, giving him outsize control over the company.

The proposed Softbank deal would mean a large amount of his voting power would shift to the Japanese firm, the Journal reported. 

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