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WeWork reportedly pressured by SoftBank to shelve IPO


SoftBank, WeWork’s largest outside shareholder, is urging the office-space-subleasing company to pause its embattled IPO process after a chilly reception from would-be investors, the Financial Times’ Eric Platt and James Fontanella-Khan reported.

The news comes just days after The Wall Street Journal reported WeWork — which technically rebranded itself as The We Company earlier this year — was contemplating slashing its projected public-market valuation to less than half, ahead of what would be one of the higher-profile public offerings this year.

A WeWork spokesperson told Business Insider: “The company is in a quiet period and will politely decline to comment.”

WeWork could cut the valuation for its IPO to under $20 billion and may even postpone the offering, The Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday, citing unnamed sources. The company had been valued at $47 billion in its last fundraising round.

The company is planning to launch an investor roadshow this week to drum up interest in the offering, The Journal reported. WeWork’s underwriters are also planning to meet with investors to discuss possible changes to ensure a successful IPO, The Journal said.

SoftBank and its Saudi-backed Vision Fund have invested more than $10 billion in WeWork.

According to the report, SoftBank is concerned that if WeWork goes public at a valuation much lower than its private-market valuation, it might hurt the firm’s ability to raise its second Vision Fund, hence its choice to pressure the company into dropping its IPO plans.


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