WeWork eyeing public SPAC debut in deal that could be worth $10 billion, report says

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WeWork eyeing public SPAC debut in deal that could be worth $10 billion, report says
A man walks past the logo of WeWork in Tokyo on May 18, 2020.KAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP via Getty Images
  • WeWork has its eye on going public via a SPAC merger, The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday.
  • The office-sharing company could seek a valuation of up to $10 billion, according to the report.
  • WeWork had a peak valuation of $47 billion in 2019 following a funding round led by SoftBank.
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WeWork could be taking its second shot at trying to go public, according to a Thursday report from The Wall Street Journal.

The office-sharing company, which tried but ultimately failed in its attempt to go public at a valuation of around $47 billion in 2019, is in talks to combine with a SPAC, the report said, citing people familiar with the matter.

A deal could value WeWork at $10 billion, which would be a dramatic fall from its peak valuation of $47 billion in 2019 when SoftBank led a funding round.

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SoftBank remains a majority owner of WeWork, and the Japanese conglomerate marked down its valuation for the company to $2.9 billion amid the COVID-19 pandemic last Spring, according to the report.

While WeWork has been weighing offers from a SPAC affiliated with Bow Capital Management LLC, it has also received separate offers for a new private investment round that it is considering, according to the report.

Proceeds raised from either potential deal would be used to fund growth initiatives, the report said.

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There is no guarantee that WeWork will strike any deal, and the talks are complicated, the people said.

The company has been working to clean up its image after extravagant spending by its former CEO and co-founder Adam Neumann tanked its planned public debut more than a year ago.

SPACs have been all the rage over the past year as companies look for a faster and cheaper route to go public relative to the traditional IPO. Nearly $75 billion was raised by 219 SPAC IPOs in 2020, and 2021 has been off to a strong start as well, with more than 80 SPAC debuts so far this month, according to data from SPACInsider.

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