A pedestrian walks past a closed entrance to the WeWork co-working office space on Eastcheap in London, UK. Picture: BLOOMBERG/BRYN COLTON.
A pedestrian walks past a closed entrance to the WeWork co-working office space on Eastcheap in London, UK. Picture: BLOOMBERG/BRYN COLTON.

San Francisco — WeWork is in talks to sell Managed by Q, a business it owned for about eight months, according to people familiar with the matter. The deal may help the troubled office-sharing company raise cash and refocus on its main business.

A group of investors and executives, including Managed by Q co-founder and former chair Dan Teran, is trying to buy the business back from WeWork, the people said. Discussions are progressing and WeWork is actively pursuing a resolution, said the people, who asked not to be identified talking about private negotiations.

Earlier in 2019, WeWork acquired Managed by Q — which offers technology to help companies manage workplace tasks and services — with the goal of combining the smaller outfit’s expertise with its own global scale to “deliver an unprecedented and seamless office experience for growing companies everywhere.”

Teran spoke on a panel at the SALT conference in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday and moderator Omeed Malik, CEO of merchant bank Farvahar Partners, asked about Teran’s plans.

“I’m actively working to buy back my company,” he said during a live stream from the conference. “After selling for $220m, I thought I was done raising capital for Managed by Q. And here I am six months later, doing it again.”

The day before, Teran was at another event in Abu Dhabi, run by tech and venture capital group Hub71, talking with investors.

The value of the deal under discussion could not be ascertained. Managed by Q was valued at $249m in a financing round in January, according to a TechCrunch report that cited PitchBook data.

WeWork bought or backed several start-ups in recent years during a growth binge. That expansionary effort contributed to its billions of dollars in losses, and after an aborted initial public offering (IPO) earlier in 2019, some of those deals may be unwound.

WeWork has turned to major investor SoftBank for a rescue package to keep it going, part of which will see the company ditch side businesses and focus on making its core operations sustainable.

WeWork listed several investments and subsidiaries, including The Wing, Meetup, SpaceIQ, Teem and Wavegarden, as potential divestments in an October investor presentation. The office-sharing company is also cutting thousands of jobs as it tries to generate positive cash flow by 2023.

Bloomberg