WeWork Mulling Another Cut To Valuation
WeWork's parent company is said to be weighing an even bigger cut to its valuation than previously thought amid a flood of unflattering news following the release of its IPO prospectus last month.
Reports emerged last week the company was looking at slashing its valuation to around $20B, a reaction to skepticism to the current $47B figure. However, The Wall Street Journal reports the final valuation could come in even lower than $20B, and some current investors are trying to convince the company to put the plans for an initial public offering on ice.
And even though The We Company was planning to start marketing the shares this week, it is now meeting with the IPO underwriters to figure out a plan to secure sufficient demand for the offering. Multiple outlets have reported the company is looking to raise as much as $3.5B.
Ultimately, if the IPO plans are shelved, the company will have to pump the brakes on its growth plans — or find money another way. One possible option is that SoftBank Group, which has funneled billions into the company already, buys a large number of the shares — or pours even more money into The We Company so it can delay the IPO until next year.
The We Company filed its prospectus last month, and was immediately buffeted by a wave of criticism over its voluminous losses, potential conflicts of interest and inability to say when it will be profitable.
While WeWork brought in $1.54B in revenue during the first six months of 2019, according to its prospectus, it continues to operate at a net loss. The company ended the first half of the year with a net loss of about $690M, up from a $628M net loss in the first half of 2018.
Meanwhile, it was revealed in July that CEO Adam Neumann has sold at least $700M worth of shares in the company, and took out loans against his remaining shares.
Both the broader coworking and commercial real estate industries are watching the planned IPO with intense interest. Many of WeWork’s rivals have said the company going public will have widespread ramifications on the wider coworking and flexible office market.