The Strategist

WeWork will try to go public again

03/24/2021 - 05:23

We Company, which includes the co-working service WeWork, will make a second attempt to become a public company, Reuters reported.

Ajay Suresh
Ajay Suresh
After a derailed September 2019 IPO, the company wants to go public through a merger with a specialized target mergers and acquisitions company (SPAC), sources told the agency. It is currently in talks with a shell company BowX Acquisition Corp, which raised a $420 million investment in August.

According to a presentation shown to potential investors, WeWork incurred a $3.2 billion loss for 2020. That's slightly better than the 2019 figure, when the service reported a $3.5 billion loss. The company is now trying to convince investors to invest $1 billion in it and predicts that it will have a market capitalization of $9 billion after going public.

Note that in mid-2019 WeWork (the name of the entire company at the time) was considered one of the world's most expensive startups, and its estimated value reached almost $50 billion. Management of the service intended to hold an IPO, but immediately after the disclosure of financial information investors' interest in the service began to fall sharply: they saw that the company had growing losses. As a result, WeWork was forced to cancel the IPO. The main complaint of investors was not so much about the corporate management, but the lack of clarity in how the company could make a profit, experts said at the time.

At that, this was only the beginning of WeWork's problems: due to a decline in investor interest, the company began to experience a shortage of funds and was at risk of collapse. As a result, it had to be rescued by Japan's SoftBank, which was the service's largest shareholder at the time. SoftBank spent $10 billion to buy out the remaining shares.