Softbank, the largest external shareholder of WeWork, is urging the company to stop its IPO plans. The British Financial Times reports, citing persons informed by the talks. Softback, the Japanese technology group, and the Saudi-backed Vision Fund have invested more than $ 10 billion in office space.
We Co., the parent company of WeWork, has downgraded its IPO below US $ 20 billion, the Wall Street Journal has learned.
Despite plans to launch a roadshow to market shares to new investors next Monday, We Co. and its signatories plan to hold a IPO crisis meeting this week.
A valuation below $ 20 billion would mean an even greater decline from the $ 47 billion valuation that was raised earlier this year.
Potential investors were disappointed with the sale of shares by co-founder and chief executive Adam Neumann, worth hundreds of millions of dollars, and more than $ 740 million in loans, which the Wall Street Journal reportedly tied to its shares. Neumann also controls the majority of the voting rights of the company.
WeWork opened 528 branches in over 110 cities in an aggressive expansion and demanded very high rental rates. The company has lost more than $ 4 billion since 2016, although sales have doubled every year over this period. According to the Global Coworking Survey, 50 percent of coworking spaces do not make a profit.