Home Economy WeWork in “Selective Default” as It Misses Debt Holder Conditions

WeWork in “Selective Default” as It Misses Debt Holder Conditions

by S. Jack Heffernan Ph.D

WeWork, the embattled flexible workspace provider, finds itself in a precarious financial position, labeled as being in “selective default” by ratings agency S&P. This development arises from WeWork’s failure to meet conditions set by its debt holders, casting a shadow over the company’s financial stability.

S&P’s pronouncement came after WeWork disclosed its latest interactions with creditors in a securities filing. The company stated that bondholders had granted it a 30-day grace period on October 2 for interest payments. However, WeWork mentioned that this forbearance agreement was set to terminate within seven days, according to the filing.

In this context, WeWork made the decision to withhold $6.4 million in interest payments. The company asserted that it possessed sufficient liquidity to meet this obligation, and it had a 30-day grace period before non-payment would be classified as an “event of default,” as indicated in the filing.

S&P, on the other hand, characterized WeWork’s status as one of “selective default.” The agency justified this stance by noting that WeWork was distressed, failed to fulfill its contractual obligation to make timely interest payments, and did not adequately compensate all lenders for temporarily waiving their rights. S&P also stated that it would reevaluate the situation at the conclusion of the seven-day period.

WeWork’s financial troubles had been brewing for some time. In August, the company had raised concerns by acknowledging that “substantial doubt exists about the company’s ability to continue as a going concern.” The first half of the year had seen WeWork facing significant losses, with weakening macroeconomic conditions dampening demand for its shared office spaces, as reported to regulators.

WeWork, previously associated with controversial founder Adam Neumann, has received substantial funding from SoftBank. The company had been a prominent player in the sharing economy, significantly impacting the commercial real estate landscape of major cities worldwide.

In the wake of these financial challenges, WeWork’s shares took a substantial hit, plummeting by nearly 50 percent and closing at $1.22 on Wednesday, reflecting the company’s tenuous financial position and the hurdles it faces in regaining stability.

Shayne Heffernan

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