WeWork plans to file for bankruptcy as early as next week, as the SoftBank Group-backed company struggles with a massive debt pile and hefty losses. Shares of the flexible workspace provider fell 32% in extended trading after the Wall Street Journal first reported the news. They have fallen roughly 96% this year.
The company had net long-term debt of $2.9 billion as of June end and more than $13 billion in long-term leases, at a time when rising borrowing costs are hurting the commercial real estate sector.
Why it matters
WeWork's filing for bankruptcy would mark a stunning reversal of fortune for the company that was privately valued at $47 billion in 2019 and a black spot for investor SoftBank that sunk billions. The company has been in turmoil ever since its plans to go public in 2019 imploded following investors' skepticism over its business model of taking long-term leases and renting them for the short term and worries over its hefty losses.