The Wall Street Journal: SoftBank bids to bail out WeWork with takeover, slashing valuation to $8 billion

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WeWork’s board is expected to meet tomorrow to weigh emergency-financing options including a takeover by SoftBank Group Corp. that would slash the co-working company’s valuation to about $8 billion and alleviate a looming cash crunch.

Ahead of a deadline tonight to submit bids, SoftBank 9984, -0.02%   has offered to lend $5 billion to the struggling startup and accelerate a $1.5 billion equity investment that had been scheduled for next year, people familiar with the matter said. SoftBank also would offer to buy more than $1 billion of stock from existing investors and employees, some of the people said.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. JPM, +2.48%   is expected to field a competing loan package that would bring together a group of outside investors. There is no guarantee it will be able to, and the terms it has outlined to potential investors so far are more expensive and complicated than what SoftBank is offering.

SoftBank’s offer would value WeWork at less than half of what the company had been looking to fetch in a now-scrapped initial public offering. It is even further from the $47 billion WeWork at which was valued in a funding from SoftBank in January.

An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com.

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