October 11, 2019 / 4:43 PM / 11 days ago

WeWork to close its WeGrow elementary school in New York next year

FILE PHOTO: A WeWork logo is seen at a WeWork office in San Francisco, California, U.S. September 30, 2019. REUTERS/Kate Munsch/File Photo

(Reuters) - WeWork said on Friday it will shut down its WeGrow private school in New York City after the current school year, as the company focuses on its main office-sharing business.

The company is cutting back, including laying off some employees and closing or selling entities that are not essential to its core operations as it seeks to avoid running out of cash.

WeWork, which had to abandon an initial public offering on September 30 because of investor concerns about how it was valued and its business model, is currently seeking new financing from its major shareholder SoftBank Group Corp and JPMorgan Chase & Co, sources have told Reuters. WeWork said in a statement it will continue to operate WeGrow through the 2019/2020 school year, and that “WeWork and the families of WeGrow students are engaging in discussions with interested parties regarding plans for WeGrow for the following school year.”

Last week, parents picking up their children outside the WeGrow elementary school in Manhattan’s Chelsea district expressed hope that it would continue to stay open, but said they had not received much information from administrators.

WeGrow, which took in children as young as two years old, was founded by Rebekah Neumann, the wife of former WeWork chief executive Adam Neumann who resigned last month.

The school charged between $22,000 to $42,000 for annual tuition based on the student’s age.

Reporting by Sheila Dang; Editing by Martin Howell and Kirsten Donovan

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