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Smart Glass Maker View Under Pressure From Cantor Fitzgerald, May Be Forced To Sell Assets

View Inc., a smart glass company once valued at $2B, is facing a potential debt restructuring or asset sale, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission this month.

According to the Schedule 13D filing, Cantor Fitzgerald, which helped View go public, has “engaged in communications with [View's] senior lenders and other investors regarding, among other things, restructuring the terms of [its] existing indebtedness, a potential divestiture of certain assets, a potential extraordinary corporate transaction or other possible transactions.”


The filing means Cantor Fitzgerald is having conversations with lenders, a clue that lenders aren't happy and are making noise regarding restructuring the terms of the existing debt or there may be a default, according to Husch Blackwell partner Steven Carman, who specializes in mergers, acquisitions and special-purpose acquisition companies.

“If I'm a lender and I thought there were assets that could pay me off, I would say, ‘Sell the damn assets and pay me off,’ or, ‘Sell the company and use the proceeds to pay me off,’” Carman said. 

Carman said Cantor Fitzgerald is trying to preserve whatever value it thinks may exist and prevent the lenders from taking what Cantor might see as rash action that would be disadvantageous to its position.

“Potential extraordinary corporate transaction” is a term of art that means Cantor Fitzgerald is open to any alternative, Carman said.

“Issuers sometimes say they are ‘exploring strategic alternatives,’” Carman said. “This is the analog to that. It's a very similar concept.”

View has about $65.3M in cash on hand but $227.6M in debt. During the last 12 months, the company took in revenue of $128.8M but lost $426.4M.

Neither Cantor Fitzgerald nor View responded to requests from Bisnow for further information about the future of the company. A phone call and an email to CEO Rao Mulpuri weren't returned before publication.

Cantor Fitzgerald owns just over 24% of View stock, including a portion owned personally by Cantor CEO Howard Lutnick, according to the SEC filing.

Since going public in early 2021, View's stock has plummeted 86.6%. Since then, it has also been the target of charges brought by the SEC alleging its chief financial officer misstated the cost of replacing faulty windows by $28M.

View lost $208M and burned through $23M in cash during the third quarter. Separately, the company pleaded guilty to unlawfully discharging wastewater in Mississippi and paid $5M in fines.

View was launched with the idea that its automatically tinting glass could attract office tenants and bring in higher revenues. The glass sported transparent circuit boards that could tint windows, theoretically saving companies money by reducing energy use. The glass could also be used as a presentation screen.

But the degradation of the office market across the country dissolved that part of View's customer base. The company has also installed its glass in airports and pivoted to multifamily after office demand dried up.

View raised some $2B from investors before it went public, including a $1.2B cash influx from SoftBank in 2018.

“We believe that View has created an entire new market category that makes buildings healthier and smarter,” SoftBank Investment Advisers partner Tom Cheung said in a statement at the time of the investment.

SoftBank was also a major investor in WeWork, another now-flailing company that went public via SPAC.

View went public on the Nasdaq Stock Market via a $1.6B merger with a SPAC sponsored by Cantor Fitzgerald. View obtained $800M when it went public, but by May 2023, the company faced delisting after accounting errors forced it to audit its previous financial reports.

In 2022, View began warning of “substantial doubt” that it would continue to exist as it burned through cash and couldn't turn a profit.

In October 2022, View raised about $200M to ward off delisting, including $50M in financing in the form of a credit facility put together by Cantor Fitzgerald, RXR, Anson Funds and Affinius Capital.

View isn't alone among companies that went public via SPACs in late 2020 and early 2021 that haven't lived up to the promise of those enthusiastic days, said Jay Ritter, a finance professor at the University of Florida and an initial public offering expert.

“With the low interest rates, there was a lot of enthusiasm for rapidly growing companies, whether they were profitable or not,” Ritter said. “It turned out there are a number of business models where they were able to generate rapid growth by selling below cost but haven't been able to bring the costs down enough to turn the corner and become profitable.”

CORRECTION, FEB. 21, 6 P.M. ET: A previous version of this story said that View Inc. went public in 2020. The deal was announced late that year but finalized in early 2021. The story has been updated.