- Billionaire Adam Neumann is trying to buy back bankrupt real estate company WeWork, which he founded in 2010 and was ousted from in 2019.
- Neumann's counsel said it had the support of Dan Loeb's Third Point, but the hedge fund told CNBC that it had not committed financing and discussions were only "preliminary."
- Neumann's letter, first obtained by DealBook, suggests months of engagement with the company.
Adam Neumann wants to buy real estate company WeWork, the company he co-founded in 2010 that ousted him nine years later, out of bankruptcy citing the support of "well-known capital sources" including Dan Loeb's Third Point. But the hedge fund told CNBC that it had not committed any financing and that discussions with Neumann were "preliminary."
DealBook first reported news of Neumann's bid on Tuesday, citing a letter sent by Neumann's counsel.
"Third Point has had only preliminary conversations with Flow and Adam Neumann about their ideas for WeWork, and has not made a commitment to participate in any transaction," the hedge fund told CNBC.
Neumann and his startup Flow had "consistently expressed" a "sincere interest" since December 2023 to buy WeWork and its leases out of bankruptcy or provide debtor-in-possession, or DIP, financing, according to a letter obtained by DealBook from Neumann's counsel, Alex Spiro.
"WeWork is an extraordinary company. As such, we receive expressions of interest from external parties on a regular basis. We and our advisors always review those approaches with a view to acting in the best interests of the company," a WeWork spokesperson told CNBC.
Those efforts have stretched even further back than December, according to the letter. Neumann had tried to arrange financing of up to $1 billion in October 2022 but was rebuffed by former CEO Sandeep Mathrani.
WeWork advisors resisted Neumann's efforts but eventually suggested that Neumann provide DIP financing instead of a term sheet, according to the letter. It was not immediately clear from the letter if WeWork and Neumann's team had signed an NDA, although the letter says the two sides had been exchanging markups on one.
WeWork filed for bankruptcy in November 2023 after years of financial struggles. Neumann stepped down in 2019 as the company faced mounting investor concerns over its corporate governance and valuation.
Neumann and Spiro did not respond to CNBC's request for comment.
"We continue to believe that the work we are currently doing — addressing our unsustainable rent expenses and restructuring our business — will ensure WeWork is best positioned as an independent, valuable, financially strong and sustainable company long into the future," a WeWork spokesperson added.
The Financial Times first reported the details of Third Point's engagement with Neumann.
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