November 17, 2019 Finance and Tech Publication

Goldman Sachs says it marked down WeWork stake by $80 million

Adam Neumann, CEO of WeWork.

Eduardo Munoz | Reuters

Goldman Sachs was stung by its bet on WeWork — but not as badly as some analysts had feared.

The bank lost about $80 million on its stake in the coworking company in the third quarter, CFO Stephen Scherr told investors Tuesday. While WeWork’s valuation plunged after its IPO plans collapsed last month, forcing Goldman to reset its valuation on the holding, the stake could fall further and Goldman would still make money on the investment, he said. 

“Our carry value there is approximately $70 million, which is meaningfully higher than where our embedded cost is in that name,” Scherr said. “So if there was further downdraft, there is still embedded profit in the name itself.”

Still, Goldman’s WeWork writedown was smaller than the $264 million estimate of Morgan Stanley analyst Betsy Graseck. She based her estimate on the $146 million writedown taken by a smaller investment bank, Jefferies, last month. 

Goldman has $19.7 billion in private company holdings overall, and the bank changes the valuations on those stakes “on an event-driven basis,” meaning if a company is sold or has had a fund-raising round. 

A far larger drag was Goldman’s holdings in publicly-traded firms. The business was stung by bets in Uber, Avantor and Tradeweb, which drove losses of $267 million in the quarter, the bank said. 

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