WeWork pushes ahead with September IPO

Amid market backlash to IPO filing, the company said it would make changes to its corporate governance

Sep.September 13, 2019 09:38 AM
The We Company CEO Adam Neumann (Credit: Getty Images)

The We Company CEO Adam Neumann (Credit: Getty Images)

The We Company will push ahead with its initial public offering and list its shares on Nasdaq later this month, despite a push from its lead investor to withdraw such plans.

The office-space company said in a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing Friday that it would be making changes to its corporate governance structure, which includes putting restrictions on CEO Adam Neumann’s power, “in response to market feedback.”

Among the changes, the company will no longer use a succession committee led by Rebekah Neumann to select a new CEO, and the board will be empowered to elect a new head, according to the amended S-1 filing.

It will go public on the Nasdaq exchange the week of Sept. 23, the Wall Street Journal first reported.

In addition to the appointment of the board’s first woman, Frances Frei, the company said it would also add another board member within a year, “with a commitment to increasing the board’s gender and ethnic diversity.”

Neumann also will not be allowed to make future real estate transactions, and as previously disclosed, he will repay $5.9 million made to him for the trademarked use of the word “we.”

The reports cap a tumultuous week for the company. Earlier this week, the company’s largest investor, SoftBank, was reported to have pushed for a delay in the IPO, as it was revealed the company’s valuation was expected to dip below $20 billion — more than half its previous $47 billion valuation.

But the following day, the We Company expressed that it would push ahead with plans for an imminent IPO, seen as a necessary step to securing up to $10 billion in debt and equity to fund its ambitious growth plans.

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