WeWork Says Will File to Withdraw IPO Week After Founder Ousted as CEO

Fundamentals of the business remain strong, argue co-CEOs, vowing to go public again soon

A WeWork office facility in Brooklyn's Dumbo, New York City, September 13, 2019.
AFP

WeWork's parent The We Company said on Monday it will file to withdraw its initial public offering, a week after the SoftBank-backed office-sharing startup removed founder Adam Neumann as its chief executive officer.

WeWork's decision to pull its IPO was widely expected, after the company postponed the share sale earlier in September, following push-back from perspective stock market investors over its widening losses and Neumann's unusually firm grip on the company.

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SoftBank, which owns nearly a third of We Company, invested in the startup at a $47 billion valuation in January. But investor skepticism led to it earlier this month considering a potential IPO valuation of as low as $10 billion, Reuters reported.

"We have decided to postpone our IPO to focus on our core business, the fundamentals of which remain strong," WeWork's newly appointed co-CEOs Artie Minson and Sebastian Gunningham said on Monday.

"We have every intention to operate WeWork as a public company and look forward to revisiting the public equity markets in the future," Minson and Gunningham added.

We Company had vowed to pursue the IPO and complete the share sale by the end of the year, after Neumann stepped down as CEO. However, sources had told Reuters last week that the IPO was unlikely to be completed this year.

Adam Neumann and WeWork staff attend the opening bell ceremony at Nasdaq in New York, January 16, 2018
Mark Lennihan,AP