The WeWork office space provider suffered a $ 3.2 billion loss last year as it had to close its coworkings around the world due to the coronavirus pandemic. This was revealed by the company in an attempt to get $ 1 billion in new investments and a stock market listing.
A document to potential investors states that the annual loss was slightly lower than the 3.5 billion dollars a year earlier. This was mainly because the company reduced its spending from $ 2.2 billion in 2019 to $49 million last year. Furthermore, the paper saw that the occupancy rate of the global portfolio fell to 47 percent at the end of 2020 from 72 percent at the beginning of the year, before the crisis hit.
The company says it wants to go public through a merger with a special purpose acquisition company, or SPAC. That is an empty stock market shell that aims to invest in a company. WeWork’s IPO targets a $ 9 billion valuation, including debt.
WeWork is reportedly in talks with BowX Acquisition, a space investment fund that raised $ 420 million in August. BowX has former basketball star Shaquille O’neal as a consultant and is led by Vivek Ranadivé, the founder of software company Tibco. In the case of an IPO through the back door, there is usually less extensive control. Even investors in a space do not know in advance what they are investing in.
The valuation of WeWork today is much lower than the $ 47 billion price tag that was attached to the company in 2019. When the company was going public at the time, investors discovered that the company had no clear path towards profitability. Adam Neumann was also discredited by giving his family important positions and buying real estate with his own company, which he then resold to WeWork.
Earlier this year, the ongoing legal battle between investor SoftBank and Neumann came to an end, bringing an IPO one step closer. SoftBank had previously promised to invest $ 3 billion in WeWork as part of a rescue plan for the company. But when it turned out that not all the conditions had been met, the agreement was cancelled. The case was settled.