WeWork agrees $9 billion SPAC merger to finally get stock market listing

Kimiko G. Judith
FILE PHOTO: A man walks out of a WeWork space in the Manhattan borough of New York City
FILE Picture: A man walks out of a WeWork room in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., Oct 4, 2019. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

March 26, 2021

By Niket Nishant, Noor Zainab Hussain and Joshua Franklin

(Reuters) – WeWork stated on Friday it has agreed to go general public through a merger with blank-examine organization BowX Acquisition Corp, enabling the business office-sharing enterprise to full a inventory market listing two years following its failed initial try.

The merger with BowX, a particular objective acquisition enterprise (SPAC), values WeWork at around $9 billion, a steep drop from the $47 billion the dollars-losing corporation was really worth in a 2019 private funding round led by Japanese conglomerate SoftBank Group Corp.

Afterwards in 2019, WeWork attempted an first community providing but pulled the ideas owing to investor concerns more than its business enterprise design and co-founder Adam Neumann’s management style.

Neumann eventually stepped down as main govt. Sandeep Mathrani is now CEO, and his work has included chopping charges by $1.6 billion, in accordance to WeWork.

“Sometimes you really don’t select the path (and) a path picks you. In December, we have been approached by BowX and other SPACS,” Mathrani told CNBC in an job interview.

“We had noticed a path to profitability and we assumed it was a good time to raise additional liquidity to de-possibility the stability sheet, and to make sure that we have a path to profitability,” Mathrani additional.

BowX shares on Nasdaq were being up 8% in early morning buying and selling.

SoftBank, WeWork’s largest backer, will keep a greater part stake in the corporation following the offer. SoftBank and other traders have agreed to a a person-12 months lock-up on their shares, according to a man or woman common with the matter. Present-day shareholders will own about 83% of the combined business.

SPACs like BowX are shell companies that increase funds in an IPO with the target of merging with an unidentified non-public corporation. For the firm currently being obtained, the merger is an option way to go general public more than a classic IPO.


Potential investors in WeWork’s 2019 IPO were being in part spooked by losses that stretched into the billions of dollars with no distinct path to profitability.

WeWork has nevertheless to convert a earnings. Its modified EBITDA, a measure of a business’ underlying profitability, was -$1.8 billion in 2020. WeWork forecasts this will be -$900 million in 2021 but predicts it will accomplish operating profitability of $500 million in 2022.

WeWork has also had to temperature the COVID-19 pandemic, which led to quite a few office environment staffers doing work from property. WeWork’s revenues for 2020 had been flat at $3.2 billion, but the corporation and serious estate sector specialists anticipate there will be escalating desire immediately after the pandemic for the sort of adaptable places of work supplied by organizations like WeWork.

“We consider that WeWork is heading to be the chance stock for the restoration,” BowX co-CEO Vivek Ranadivé informed CNBC.

In full WeWork expects to elevate $1.3 billion in money from the merger, funded by the $420 million BowX lifted in its IPO in August and an $800 billion non-public financial investment in general public equity (PIPE) from investors which includes Insight Companions, Starwood Capital Team and Fidelity Management.

BowX experienced originally appeared to increase $500 million for the PIPE but amplified this owing to trader demand, according to persons common with the issue.

PJT Associates was WeWork’s financial adviser on the offer. UBS Team AG advised BowX.

(Reporting by Niket Nishant and Noor Zainab Hussain in Bengaluru and Joshua Franklin in Boston Further reporting by Herb Lash in New York Modifying by Ramakrishnan M., Arun Koyyur, Saumyadeb Chakrabarty and Dan Grebler)

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