Ahead of We Company IPO, investors willing to sell shares at discount from higher valuations

We Company announced plans in April for an Initial Public Offering

WeWork CEO Adam Neumann and Softbank CEO Masayoshi Son (Credit: Getty Images)
WeWork CEO Adam Neumann and Softbank CEO Masayoshi Son (Credit: Getty Images)

In the lead up to We Company’s IPO, some institutional investors were willing to trade their stock in the company at deep discounts to the $47 billion valuation set by Masayoshi Son and announced earlier his year.

Son’s Japanese conglomerate SoftBank announced a large investment in the We Company in January that included $1 billion to buy out current investors. But that money was intended to buy investors out at a valuation of $20 billion – not the $47 billion the company was valued at following SoftBank’s most recent funding round, according to the Financial Times.

Institutional investors were willing to sell their shares at a valuation somewhere around $23 billion, according to broker documents reviewed by the Financial Times.

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The $47 billion valuation has been met with skepticism by some critics who questioned the company’s business model and history of losses. The We Company recently saw its revenues and losses double year-over-year, and investors have concerns about the company’s lease obligations.

In September 2018, it became the largest office leaseholder in Manhattan, surpassing JPMorgan Chase, The Real Deal reported.

In April, We Company announced it had filed documents to go public, the latest in a series of tech companies, including Uber and Lyft, to debut on the stock market this year. [FT] — Sylvia Varnham O’Regan