WeWork is in talks to take $1.9B majority stake in India affiliate

The discussions come as the the shared office giant gears up for an IPO

Jitu Virwani and Adam Neumann (Credit: Getty Images and iStock)
Jitu Virwani and Adam Neumann (Credit: Getty Images and iStock)

WeWork is reportedly in talks to take a majority stake in its India affiliate as the company powers toward an initial public offering.

The flexible office space giant could take a 70 percent stake priced at $1.9 billion in a cash-and stock deal that could close as soon as August, according to Bloomberg. The terms of the deal, which would reportedly value the India-based affiliate at $2.75 billion, have not been finalized.

WeWork declined to comment.

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The discussions come as WeWork’s parent company, The We Company, plans to file for an IPO. Now valued at $47 billion, it would be the second largest IPO this year, and would follow disappointing IPOs of other unicorns, including ride-hailing apps Uber and Lyft.

The company has made other prescient moves as it prepares for the public markets. Last month, it announced the launch of its real estate investment vehicle, ARK, which is backed by a $2.9 billion investment from Ivanhoe Cambridge. Reports also emerged that the company is seeking a $2.75 billion credit line, a move that typically precedes an IPO, and that JPMorgan was leading the discussions.

The company’s India affiliate is owned under a franchise arrangement by real estate tycoon Jitu Virwani, who controls development firm Embassy Group. Virwani’s son, Karan, is currently chief executive of WeWork India.

In August, WeWork India’s general manager, Ryan Bennett, told the Times of India that the company had signed up more than 10,000 customers in the country in three cities. [Bloomberg] — David Jeans