After a failed initial public offering in 2019, embattled co-working company WeWork is reportedly entertaining offers to go public from at least two special purpose acquisition companies (SPAC), according to a Wall Street Journal report, citing individuals with knowledge of the matter.
One of the two SPAC’s reportedly interested is affiliated with Bow Capital Management LLC, while the other is currently unidentified. The deal could value WeWork at $10 billon, but it was not clear if that includes the company’s debt.
Alternatively, WeWork is also reportedly considering a new financing round that would inject capital into the company and keep it private, according to the report.
WeWork attempted to go public via IPO in late 2019, but scrutiny over its S-1 filing and questions about the company’s reported valuation caused the company to scuttle it. SoftBank’s last funding round in 2019 had reportedly valued the company at $47 billion and the S-1 filing revealed the company lost $1.9 billion in 2018, while posting revenue of $1.8 billion.
Approximately six weeks after the S-1 was filed, WeWork CEO Adam Neumann resigned, taking a pricey buyout, and the company pulled the filing.
In the wake of Neumann’s resignation, SoftBank took over the company. SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son said publicly he regretted the investment, in the wake of the failed IPO, which he estimated cost SoftBank roughly $4.6 billion in stock value.
If WeWork does decide to go the SPAC route, it can likely avoid some of the same pre-IPO scrutinies that dogged the company in 2019, however, it’s likely investors might be more cautious given the company’s track record.