Masayoshi Son, the CEO of SoftBank announced that it has decided to control 80% of the proceedings of WeWork, the famous office-sharing company. The decision is considered as a bailout move for WeWork following the decision of the market not to consider austerity measures of the company.
6 years back, SoftBank had bought 72% shares of Sprint, following which, the shares saw an increase of over 80% in terms of value subsequently. The move later turned out to be one of the most significant ones in the US wireless market.
Though Sprint that time, and WeWork this time is completely different in terms of business niche, both saw the same savior in SoftBank and the hours of respective crises. However, the inside story has a different connotation though. Ron Fisher, Son, Marcelo Claure are spearheading the effort to drive this foundering business to a direction where it can enjoy some sustained profitability from somewhere.
And SoftBank took the stake of $4.4 billion on behalf of WeWork only after it has established itself as a major moneymaker in the Silicon Valley. Last, at the time of the Sprint bailout exercise in 2012, the situation was a bit different. At that time, SoftBank agreed upon a 72% stake for $20.1 billion initially but later moved up to 72% for $21.6 billion when the deal was finally closed.
At that time, Son had reiterated that he was eager to use the expertise and experience of Softbank in the wireless industry to stabilize the shuddering ship of Sprint and at the same time set up a sprawling and fast-growing communication network in the United States.
The plan though flourished initially, did not sustain in the long run and the Sprint at present is in a bad shape as Son prepares for a similar venture yet again. Naturally, there are very few takers of the move this time, as WeWork inches towards the inevitable – like Sprint.