WeWork Officially Shelves IPO

WeWork’s initial public offering (IPO) is suspended and the company is pulling out of its S-1 filing, CNBC reported on Monday (Sept. 30).

The office-sharing startup had said it was going public on Aug. 14, but has since divulged extensive losses. In addition, Founder and CEO Adam Neumann stepped down and changes to the firm’s corporate framework were announced.

“We have decided to postpone our IPO to focus on our core business, the fundamentals of which remain strong,” WeWork Co-CEOs Artie Minson and Sebastian Gunningham said in a statement to CNBC. “We are as committed as ever to serving our members, enterprise customers, landlord partners, employees and shareholders. We have every intention to operate WeWork as a public company and look forward to revisiting the public equity markets in the future.”

WeWork’s spectacular IPO flameout may serve as a cautionary tale for tech companies.

The decision to not list shares amid a game of “how low can they go” ­– as rapidly reduced valuations highlighted a desperate bid to find out where Wall Street would finally lend its support ­– may signal that the age of high-flying unicorns is over. At the very least, business models with rapidly rising top lines and swelling seas of red ink will get more than a second look from investors, both public and private, and scrutiny over companies’ claims to re-invent the way business is done.

As PYMNTS previously reported, WeWork’s debacle may have a chilling effect on companies going public, and will certainly lead to more digging through filings and other documents to see how, and if, companies that seek to disrupt their verticals strive to do so. WeWork has said in its filings that “technology is at the foundation of our global platform.” However, in its drive for expansion into dozens of markets around the world, it was leasing spaces on a long-term basis and renting them on a short-term basis.


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