The WeWork drama keeps on keeping on.
Last October, SoftBank tried to salvage WeWork’s failed IPO by making an offer to take over the beleaguered real estate startup for $9.5B.
The bid included $3B for WeWork shareholders, including those owned by its ex-CEO, Adam “shoes are optional” Neumann.
Well, SoftBank’s CEO Masayoshi Son didn’t want to pay out
In a series of undated texts that recently came to light, Son asked one of his top lieutenants (Marcelo Claure) to delay the tender offer:
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- Son: “It’s great to postpone the close of tender… Use whatever excuse to make senses [sic].”
- Claure: “Ok. Will use antitrust. I am turning good at excuses like someone I know very well :).”
The tender never went through and SoftBank was actually within its legal rights to walk away from the offer — but the texts don’t look great.
A few other not-so-great corporate communications
Here are 2 from our favorite Harvard dropouts-turned-billionaires:
- Mark Zuckerberg once sent an IM to a friend outlining how he was going to screw the Winklevoss Twins: “Yeah, I’m going to f**k them… probably in the ear.”
- Paul Allen (who was recovering from cancer at the time) overheard Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer discussing his future with Microsoft: “They were bemoaning my recent lack of production and discussing how they might dilute my Microsoft equity by issuing options to themselves and other shareholders.”