WeWork, the corporate real estate company whose fortunes were portrayed by Jared Leto and Anne Hathaway in Apple TV+ series “WeCrashed,” has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the U.S.
Thirteen years after entrepreneurs Adam Neumann and Miguel McKelvey founded the flexible working space turned wannabe lifestyle brand in 2010, it has filed for bankruptcy protection in New Jersey as part of a “comprehensive reorganization” of the business. The reorganization will include cutting back its property portfolio in the U.S. and Canada in a bid to “drastically reduce” its debts.
WeWork’s international business and franchises will not be affected by the bankruptcy proceedings, which protect it from claims by creditors as it restructures its finances. In a statement the company said “global operations are expected to continue as usual.”
“WeCrashed,” which premiered on Apple TV+ last year, follows Neumann (played by Leto) and McKelvey (Kyle Marvin) as they stumble across the idea of sub-leasing office space to freelancers and small companies before trying to turn their ever-expanding business model into a tech venture and even a world philosophy, raising billions of dollars in the process. At one point, the company was valued at $47 billion.
Hathaway starred as Neumann’s wife Rebekah, an actor turned entrepreneur (and cousin of Gwyneth Paltrow) who became enmeshed within the company.
The Neumanns eventually stepped back from WeWork in 2019 after trying to take the company public, which exposed a number of governance and regulatory issues. The COVID-19 pandemic, which saw lockdowns badly affect the corporate property market, were a further blow.
The company eventually went public in 2021 under new CEO Sandeep Mathrani. He left WeWork earlier this year and was replaced by David Tolley last month.
“Now is the time for us to pull the future forward by aggressively addressing our legacy leases and dramatically improving our balance sheet,” Tolley said in a statement. “We defined a new category of working, and these steps will enable us to remain the global leader in flexible work. I am deeply grateful for the support of our financial stakeholders as we work together to strengthen our capital structure and expedite this process through the Restructuring Support Agreement. We remain committed to investing in our products, services, and world-class team of employees to support our community.”