WeWork aiming for September IPO, earlier than expected

The flexible-office space giant could announce a date as early as August

Jul.July 24, 2019 10:01 AM
WeWork CEO Adam Neumann (Credit: Getty Images and iStock)

WeWork CEO Adam Neumann (Credit: Getty Images and iStock)

The We Company, the SoftBank-backed flexible-office provider last valued at $47 billion, is planning to go public as soon as September.

The WeWork and WeLive parent company could announce a date as early as next month, as it moves to secure a sizable debt facility that would give a boost to its initial public offering, according to the Wall Street Journal

Following its rebranding as the We Company in January, the company has taken steps to prepare for the public markets. It filed its initial paperwork for an IPO with the U.S. and Securities Exchange Commission in April, and the following month was in talks with JPMorgan for a $2.75 billion line of credit, a typical move by companies planning to go public.

Those discussions have now been reportedly held with other Wall Street banks, at a figure between $5 and $6 billion, according to the Journal. The higher sum would increase the likelihood of a successful IPO because of a reduced amount needed to be raised.

The We Company stands to be the second-largest public listing this year, following Uber, which raised approximately $8 billion. But the ride-sharing giant and its competitor Lyft, which also went public this year, are both trading below their IPO prices.

Still, a cloud hangs over the probability that an IPO will match the We Company’s valuation, particularly because the company is yet to turn a profit. Last year, it recorded losses of $1.9 billion, against $1.8 billion in revenue. Investors last week raised concerns that WeWork’s co-founder and chief executive Adam Neumann has in recent years sold $700 million of debt and equity in the company. [WSJ] — David Jeans

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