Cooley LLP advised BowX Acquisition Corp. on the deal while Morrison & Foerster LLP represented SoftBank Group Corp. Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP advised Insight Partners in the transaction. Skadden advised WeWork.
BowX Acquisition Corp., a publicly traded special purpose acquisition company or SPAC, announced its agreement to merge with WeWork – a combination that will result in WeWork becoming a publicly listed company.
The transaction, which values WeWork at an initial enterprise value of approximately $9 billion, will provide WeWork with approximately $1.3 billion of cash to continue self-funding its growth into the future. The deal will be funded with BowX’s $483 million of cash in trust, in addition to a fully committed $800 million PIPE led by investors including Insight Partners, Fidelity Management & Research Company, Centaurus Capital, funds managed by Starwood Capital, and funds and accounts managed by BlackRock.
WeWork Executive Chairman Marcelo Claure and CEO Sandeep Mathrani will continue to lead the company in their current roles. Following the closing, Ranadivé and Insight Partners’ Deven Parekh will join the company’s board of directors.
The combined company will now operate as WeWork Inc. and will begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “WE” on October 21, 2021.
Founded in 2010, WeWork has continued to redefine the flexible workplace market by digitizing its global physical network. As traditional landlords look to embrace the flexible model that WeWork pioneered and the market demands, WeWork will be well positioned to offer landlords an asset-light technology platform for managing and orchestrating flexible space. WeWork intends to expand beyond its core business, enabling users to choose from their WeWork mobile app when, where, and how they work.
SoftBank Group Corp. acted as the largest investor in WeWork.
The Cooley team was led by Dave Peinsipp (Picture), Jamie Leigh, Kevin Cooper, Garth Osterman, Eric Blanchard, Richard Segal, Sangitha Palaniappa and Natasha Patel. It also included Bradley Birchfield, Caitlin Courtney, David Crawford, Ross Eberly, Joshua Friedman, TJ Graham, Stephanie Gentile, Kelsie Leigh Harris, Christopher Hutter, Kris Kleiner, Allison Kutner, Samantha LaPine, Evan Leitner, Dennis Liu, Liz Paisner, Patrick Sharma, Elizabeth Skey, Mattie Wheeler, Mark Windfeld-Hansen, Daniel Han, Howard Morse, Julia Brinton, Stella Sarma and Pat O’Connell.
The Morrison & Foerster deal team representing SoftBank in the transaction is led by corporate partners David Slotkin (Washington, D.C.) and Omar Pringle (New York), with support from San Francisco corporate partners Eric McCrath and Suz Mac Cormac, Palo Alto litigation partner Erik Olson, and New York corporate associates Joseph Sulzbach, Mara Goodman, and Miles Gilhuly. The wider team included tax partners Anthony Carbone (New York) and Bernie Pistillo (San Francisco), tax of counsel Dave Sturgeon (New York), and executive compensation partner Amanda Hines Gold (San Francisco).
Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP advised Insight Partners with a team led by partners Morgan Elwyn and Eric Halperin with assistance from partner Christopher Peters, associate Andrew Marmer and law clerk Connor McMillan.
The Skadden team included M&A partners Howard Ellin and Michael Chitwood; Capital Markets partners Michelle Gasaway (Los Angeles) and David Goldschmidt; Corporate partner Amr Razzak (Palo Alto); associates Jack Rossman, Bram Strochlic, Kathy Shao, Gurjot Kaur and Ashley Vasquez; and law clerks Alexander Dawson and David Sacco. All attorneys are located in New York unless otherwise noted.
Involved fees earner: Bradley Birchfield – Cooley LLP; Eric Blanchard – Cooley LLP; Julia Brinton – Cooley LLP; Kevin Cooper – Cooley LLP; Caitlin Courtney – Cooley LLP; David Crawford – Cooley LLP; Ross Eberly – Cooley LLP; Joshua Friedman – Cooley LLP; Stephanie Gentile – Cooley LLP; TJ Graham – Cooley LLP; Daniel Han – Cooley LLP; Christopher Hutter – Cooley LLP; Kristopher Kleiner – Cooley LLP; Allison Kutner – Cooley LLP; Samantha LaPine – Cooley LLP; Jamie Leigh – Cooley LLP; Kelsie Leigh Harris – Cooley LLP; Evan Leitner – Cooley LLP; Dennis Liu – Cooley LLP; Howard Morse – Cooley LLP; Garth Osterman – Cooley LLP; Pat O’Connell – Cooley LLP; Liz Paisner – Cooley LLP; Sangitha Palaniappa – Cooley LLP; Natasha Patel – Cooley LLP; David Peinsipp – Cooley LLP; Stella Sarma – Cooley LLP; Richard Segal – Cooley LLP; Patrick Sharma – Cooley LLP; Elizabeth Skey – Cooley LLP; Mark Windfeld-Hansen – Cooley LLP; Anthony Carbone – Morrison & Foerster; Miles Gilhuly – Morrison & Foerster; Mara Goodman – Morrison & Foerster; Amanda Hines Gold – Morrison & Foerster; Susan Mac Cormac – Morrison & Foerster; Eric McCrath – Morrison & Foerster; Erik Olson – Morrison & Foerster; Bernie Pistillo – Morrison & Foerster; Omar Pringle – Morrison & Foerster; David Slotkin – Morrison & Foerster; Dave Sturgeon – Morrison & Foerster; Joseph Sulzbach – Morrison & Foerster; Mattie Wheeler – Sidley Austin LLP; Michael Chitwood – Skadden Arps Slate Meager & Flom; Howard Ellin – Skadden Arps Slate Meager & Flom; Michelle Gasaway – Skadden Arps Slate Meager & Flom; David Goldschmidt – Skadden Arps Slate Meager & Flom; Amr Razzak – Skadden Arps Slate Meager & Flom; Morgan Elwyn – Willkie Farr & Gallagher; Eric Halperin – Willkie Farr & Gallagher; Andrew Marmer – Willkie Farr & Gallagher; Christopher Peters – Willkie Farr & Gallagher;