Exclusive: WeWork Inc to sell 27% stake held in India unit via Rs 1,200 crore secondary deal: sources

Office sharing company WeWork India, promoted by Bangalore-based Embassy group, is in the midst of buying the stake held by its US parent through a secondary transaction, multiple people in the know said.
The Rs 1,200 crore secondary sale of WeWork Inc‘s stake is being bought out by the Enam group’s family office, investment fund A91 Partners, and CaratLane founder’s Mithun Sacheti, sources aware of the matter said.

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“The deal involved the sale of WeWork Inc’s shareholding in the Indian business which is being run by the Embassy group. While most of the Rs 1,200 crore is through secondary sale of shares, there may be a primary component… For now, the company is awaiting a clearance from the Competition Commission of India (CCI),” said a person familiar with the situation.

Real estate developer Embassy group holds a 73% stake in WeWork India and is expected to process the share transfer post the nod from CCI, people briefed on the matter said.

Adam Nuemann, founded WeWork Inc. which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in November, owns a 27% stake in the Indian unit which is up for sale. In sharp contrast to the collapse of its US operations, the Indian business of WeWork reported revenues of Rs 1,300 crore in FY23, a jump of around 68% from a year ago, along with an 80% cut in losses at Rs 146 crore.

When contacted for a comment on the story, Karan Virwani, CEO of WeWork India, declined to comment. Enam group’s Akash Bhanshali, Sacheti, and a spokesperson for A91 Partners did not respond to ET’s request for a comment.

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In 2017, the Embassy group had set up a joint venture with WeWork Inc for the global co-working company to enter India. The company is aiming to hit revenues of Rs 1,800 crore in FY24 and may add up to 2 million sq ft of additional space in a year’s time. Currently, it has 8 million sq ft of office space across major cities. For the first six months of FY24, it clocked a revenue of Rs 831 crore revenue, up 40% on-year. It has yet to file its audited FY24 financials with the RoC (registrar of companies). It has over 70,000 paying members across the country with over 90,000 desks. As much as 80% of its clients are large enterprises while it also works with startups and other small businesses.

We Work Inc’s India exit comes at a time when coworking startups have seen a post-pandemic revival in demand. Peak XV Partners-backed Awfis has filed its draft IPO papers for a public issue later this year. Indiqube, CoWorks, 91Springboard, Bhive are among other coworking startups in India.


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