RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – WeWork is facing an even more uncertain future after SoftBank today ditched plans for its $3 billion bailout. However, the co-working giant, with a large presence in North Carolina, is forging on.
Earlier this week, it launched its “WeWork for Good” initiative, contributing office space to support members and local communities during COVID-19.
“While the world navigates through the challenges and uncertainties brought forth by the COVID-19 pandemic, WeWork remains committed to supporting our member companies, local government agencies and nonprofit organizations that are working tirelessly to provide resources to those in need,” said Sandeep Mathrani, WeWork Chief Executive Officer, in a statement.
The Special Committee of the WeWork Board of Directors has also issued a statement about the SoftBank announcement:
“[We] has been advised by SoftBank, the controlling shareholder of WeWork, that it will not consummate the tender offer which it agreed to in October of 2019. The Special Committee is surprised and disappointed at this development, and remains committed to reaching a resolution that is in the best interest of WeWork and its minority shareholders, including WeWork’s employees and former employees. [We] will evaluate all of its legal options, including litigation.”
WeWork is a space-as-a-service with 739 locations across 140 cities and 37 countries.
WeWork has several operations in North Carolina, including offices in Raleigh, Durham and Charlotte.
During the coronavirus, it has helped existing members like AP-HP, the trust which operates hospitals in Paris, France, to host part of their new crisis call centre: Covidom, a communication platform for confirmed and suspected cases of COVID-19.
Closer to home, it offered in Washington, DC-nonprofit World Central Kitchen, space for its emergency command center.
“World Central Kitchen is a nonprofit team of food first responders that’s mobilizing around the world, along with the restaurant community, to feed millions of our vulnerable neighbors and frontline medical workers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Nate Mook, CEO of World Central Kitchen, in a statement.
WeWork has launched as well a public-facing website to solicit requests from governments and nonprofits from impacted communities to request its space to support COVID-19 responses.
It is also connecting U.S.-based members with Kabbage, a company that provides small business cash flow management solutions.
Kabbage is promoting Paycheck Protection Program loans that will be available soon through the federal government’s Small Business Administration (SBA).