Naked Hub has confirmed to its staff that they are being bought by WeWork China.

In a recording of naked Hub’s staff meeting obtained by TechNode, naked Group founder Grant Horsfield said, “It is not an acquisition, we are not going anywhere,” instead choosing to refer to the move as a merger when talking to employees.

Naked Hub and WeWork confirmed the sale in an official statement, saying the two companies hope to make businesses in the region more successful.

Reports initially indicated that the sale would go through for $400 million. Naked Hub, founded in 2005, has 46 working spaces in Asia, with 20 of those located in Shanghai and Beijing.

Dominic Penaloza, CIO of naked Hub, said at the meeting that the acquisition was not one of convenience.

“This merger is not a case of ‘let’s merge to cut costs, to be more efficient,’” said Penaloza.

He reassured the employees that they would not be losing their jobs and that the aim was to hire even more people. “This rocket ship is the biggest, fastest rocket ship in the galaxy,” Penaloza said referring to the two companies joining forces.

In the recording, Horsfield welcomed WeWork co-founder Adam Neuman on stage, who then addressed naked Hub employees.

Adam Neumann (l) addressing naked Hub staff along with Grant Horsfield (r)

The reason we are here today is because there are companies around this world who think WeWork and naked Hub are co-working companies, well that’s funny because I started WeWork and I didn’t start a co-working company. What we started is a company that helps the world, that helps people make a life, not just a living. When I met Grant two and half years ago, I didn’t pay attention but before I knew it, you had built a company not just of design and technology, but of excellence of service, lifetstyle and connection. [We did this] because naked Hub is the only company in the world that is not a co-working space and because its not, we want to be a part of that. —Adam Neumann

Neumann went on to say this is the biggest commitment WeWork has ever made.

In naked Hub, we have found an equal who shares our thinking about the importance of space, community, design, culture, and technology,” Neumann said in a statement. 

Local media reports said that naked Hub had not received the money from a round of funding in January. Additionally, reports say a planned merger with JustCo in Hong Kong fell through.

Update 12 April 16:20: Included confirmation of the sale from naked Hub and WeWork

Christopher Udemans is TechNode's former Shanghai-based data and graphics reporter. He covered Chinese artificial intelligence, mobility, cleantech, and cybersecurity.

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