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- February 1, 2019: Vol. 31, Number 2

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SoftBank scales back WeWork investment plans

by Loretta Clodfelter

Japan-based SoftBank is planning to invest an additional $2 billion in WeWork Cos., according to the latest media reports, a considerably smaller amount than the $16 billion initially indicated. And that investment is going to come directly from the bank, not its $100 billion Saudi-backed Vision Fund. In total, SoftBank has invested $6 billion in the company.

The scaled-back investment in the shared office company is likely due to multiple factors. The New York Times points to a reassessment by those in the technology industry of their willingness to accept investments from the government of Saudi Arabia, following the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. The Wall Street Journal, however, suggests it was the sovereign wealth funds backing the SoftBank Vision Fund that have gotten cold feet about WeWork’s business model. And in an interview with FastCompany, WeWork founder Adam Neumann says December’s stock market turmoil had a negative impact o

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