On Tuesday, the Wall Street Journal reported that WeWork plans to file for bankruptcy as early as next week. However, it will not affect WeWork South Africa.
WeWork had one of the most dramatic trajectories, reaching a valuation of $47 billion before it imploded.
The New York-based co-working company debuted in 2010, just as the market for venture capital was beginning a decade-long boom.
With co-founder Adam Neumann as its charismatic pitchman, WeWork raised billions of dollars and grew rapidly, often doubling in revenue each year.
At its peak, it was one of the country’s most valuable startups and operated offices around the world.
It also dabbled in somewhat tangential projects, like a private elementary school called WeGrow, two residential buildings called WeLive, and a gym concept called Rise By We.
More recently, it had a disastrous attempt at an initial public offering (IPO) and challenges to its co-working model during the pandemic.
In a filing Tuesday, the company said it has been holding discussions with creditors about “improving its balance sheet” and taking steps to “rationalise its real estate footprint”.
On Monday, the company entered into a forbearance agreement with its creditors that will end in seven days.
A WeWork spokesperson said it would “not comment on speculation”, adding that they have “a clear, long-term vision for the future”.
Stefano Migliore, WeWork South Africa CEO, said WeWork’s potential bankrupt filing will not affect South African operations.
He explained that WeWork South Africa is an entirely separate entity. It is 100% owned by SiSebenza and is not affiliated with WeWork Global.
“The recent news about WeWork Global’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing in the US will not impact local operations,” he said.
“South African members and stakeholders are reassured that operations will continue as normal.”
He said since SiSebenza acquired WeWork South Africa in March 2023, their focus has been on expanding the WeWork brand in Ghana, Kenya, Mauritius, and Nigeria.
“They are also expanding their presence in South Africa. “Our business’s core elements remain strong, and our primary objective is to achieve growth and sustainability,” he said.