WeWork continues IPO launch despite concerns

NEW YORK: WeWork owner The We Company plans to proceed with an investor roadshow for its initial public offering (IPO) as early as next week, braving concerns over the valuation it can achieve in a listing, people familiar with the matter said on Friday. The company’s IPO has been in doubt since Thursday, after sources said the US office sharing startup now estimated it could be valued at a little over $20 billion in a listing, less than half the $47 billion valuation it achieved in a private fundraising round in January. Growing investor scepticism over We Company’s lack of a roadmap to profitability, and its co-founder Adam Neumann’s firm grip on its governance, are weighing on its IPO prospects.
A big drop in We Company’s valuation would be a blow to its existing investors, including its biggest backer, Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp. We Company told its IPO underwriters and potential stock market investors on Friday to expect the launch of the roadshow as early as the middle of next week, the sources said. The sources cautioned that no final decision on beginning the roadshow has been taken and the plans are still subject to change. — Reuters