- WeWork aborted its IPO 2-years ago due to investor anxiety and its shocking valuation of $47 billion.
- Instead of an initial public offering, WeWork (WE) entered the market via a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) BowX Acquisition Corp.
- WeWork’s initial shares were priced around $10, making the company worth about $9 billion –and the stock was up by almost 13% by noon in New York.
Two years ago, WeWork was poised to go public with an astonishing $47 billion valuation and a booze-riddled, cult-like community in its holster.
Now, the company has officially listed on the New York Stock Exchange today following a merger with special purpose acquisition company BowX Acquisition Corporation, where the company has been valued at $9 billion and is trading under the ticker WE.
WeWork saw massive losses under the leadership of former CEO and cofounder Adam Neumann, as well as during the pandemic.
While Neumann was responsible for burning through cash and nurturing a toxic work culture under the guise of innovation, the pandemic delivered another blow by emptying the company’s offices worldwide as people shifted to working from home.
However, under the scrutiny of the investor eye, WeWork has insistently worked to remedy its reputation among investors and the public in recent years, and it appears to have finally worked.
Over the last 20 months, WeWork has essentially revamped its entire business, shedding itself of the numerous acquisitions and business ventures that Neumann couldn’t help but dip his toes in.
Enlisting the help of CEO Sandeep Mathrani, who helped General Growth Properties (GGP) survive after it filed for what was once the largest real estate bankruptcy filing in U.S. history, WeWork has been able to hone in on its core business of shared offices (meaning no more investments into wave pool companies.)
Earlier today, shares for WeWork jumped to 8%, indicating that the public has a sense of confidence in the coworking operator.
The SPAC deal allowed SoftBank, WeWork’s largest investor, to retain a majority stake as well as agreeing to a one-year lock-up on their shares.
The Japanese conglomerate was responsible for bailing out the coworking firm after its failure to go public in 2019 and has invested upwards of $17 billion into the operator.
Even more, reports recently emerged that commercial real estate firm Cushman & Wakefield would invest up to $150 million into WeWork contingent upon it successfully going public.