SoftBank says deal reached with WeWork founder, directors

TOKYO (AP) — SoftBank Group Corp has reached a settlement in a United States (US) legal dispute with directors of office space-sharing venture WeWork Inc and its founder Adam Neumann, the Japanese technology company said yesterday.

The terms of the settlement in the Delaware Court of Chancery were not disclosed. The statement said the agreement was not yet final. Other details were not immediately available.

The wrangling began more than a year ago after SoftBank acquired shares in WeWork, which was suffering after its failed IPO. But some investors and Neumann were not satisfied with the monetary deals offered by SoftBank.

“With this litigation behind us, we are fully focussed on our mission to reimagine the workplace and continue to meet the growing demand for flexible space around the world,” said Executive Chairman of WeWork and Chief Executive of SoftBank Group International Marcelo Claure.

Tokyo-based SoftBank is a majority shareholder in WeWork, whose bumpy results, especially amid the coronavirus pandemic, has dented SoftBank’s financial results.

SoftBank said WeWork holds potential, especially in markets like Japan, where office space is costly and workers’ commutes tend to be long. SoftBank also invests in artificial intelligence, Internet services, sustainable energy and IoT.

People walk by a SoftBank shop in Tokyo. PHOTO: AP