SoftBank in talks to take majority stake in WeWork: WSJ

October 10, 2018 12:42 am

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(Reuters) – Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp (9984.T) is in talks to take a majority stake in shared office space provider WeWork Cos, in what would be one of the largest deals of the past decade’s startup boom, the Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday.

FILE PHOTO: An employee works behind a logo of Softbank Corp at its branch in Tokyo March 2, 2011. REUTERS/Toru Hanai/File Photo

The investment could be between $15 billion and $20 billion and would likely come from SoftBank’s Vision Fund, WSJ reported, citing people familiar with the talks.

A logo of U.S. co-working firm WeWork is pictured during a signing ceremony in Shanghai, China April 12, 2018. Picture taken April 12, 2018. Jackal Pan via REUTERS

SoftBank is in talks about a major new investment in WeWork, a source told Reuters on Tuesday, adding that it had not been decided if it would be a majority stake.

WeWork and SoftBank declined to comment.

SoftBank, with its $93 billion Vision Fund, is known for its appetite for big technology investments. It already holds a stake in WeWork, is the largest shareholder in Uber and has stakes in China’s ride-hailing app Didi and Southeast Asia’s Grab.

WeWork is an eight-year-old, venture-backed startup that leases commercial office space to companies in 77 cities on a month-to-month basis.

Reporting by Sanjana Shivdas in Bengaluru and Gregory Roumeliotis in New York; Editing by Peter Cooney and Cynthia Osterman

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