Softbank Group Corp. is in talks to take a majority stake in shared-office provider WeWork Cos., according to a published report.
A story in the Wall Street Journal late Tuesday citing people familiar with the talks said the investment could be as much as $20 billion, but cautioned that no deal has yet been reached and talks are continuing.
SoftBank (SFTBY) , a Japanese multinational holding conglomerate based in Tokyo, took a 20% stake in WeWork in 2017 and reportedly was considering in June upping that stake, albeit at a lower level than that being reported Tuesday.
Coworking spaces have become a major factor in the modern workforce, and they’re changing the way a lot of people do their jobs. WeWork, one of the biggest coworking spaces in the U.S., started in 2008 and in that time has expanded from one set of rented desks to a global chain of 221 offices valued at more than $20 billion. A company spokesperson told TheStreet in March that WeWork has more than 200,000 members, a number that the company expects to double to 400,000 by the end of 2018.
According to sources cited in the Journal report, the SoftBank investment could come from SoftBank’s $92 billion Vision Fund. The Journal report also noted that in January, SoftBank paid $7.7 billion for a 15% stake in Uber Technologies Inc.