WeWork looking to go public as early as September: Source

WeWork looking to go public as early as September: Source

FILE PHOTO: The WeWork logo is displayed outside of a co-working space in New York
The WeWork logo is displayed outside a co-working space in New York City, Jan 8, 2019. (Photo: Reuters/Brendan McDermid)

Shared office space manager WeWork is looking to go public as soon as September, earlier than previously expected, a person familiar with the matter told Reuters on Tuesday (Jul 23).

The company is expected to make its initial public offering paperwork public in August, the person said.

The developments were first reported earlier by the Wall Street Journal.

WeWork declined to comment.

WeWork will host an analyst day for Wall Street banks on Jul 31 as part of preparations for its IPO, Reuters reported last week.

WeWork is also looking to raise US$5 billion to US$6 billion through a bond offering before the IPO, the source added, requesting anonymity because the matter is private. This is more than it had previously been looking to raise.

The debt offering could provide comfort to those investing in the IPO who might be concerned that the cash burn at WeWork is so great it will need to raise more money after the initial offering, which would dilute their shareholdings.

"That's a very known psychology by underwriters and IPO investors, and (that fear), that’s something people try to guard against," said Adam Troso, head of real estate corporate advisory at Greenhill & Co in New York.

WeWork was recently valued at US$47 billion in a private fundraising round, making it one of the most valuable private companies in the world.

However, the money-losing company has faced questions about the sustainability of its business model, which is based on short-term revenue agreements and long-term loan liabilities.

The losses at WeWork's parent company narrowed slightly in the first quarter of 2019 to US$264 million as revenue continues to double annually.

Source: Reuters/aa