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WeWork amends confidential IPO filing, takes a step closer to going public

Javier E. David
Editor focused on markets and the economy

Office sharing company WeWork on Monday filed an amendment to its confidential paperwork to float an initial public offering, taking a step closer to becoming a publicly traded company.

The company announced in a press release that it amended a Securities and Exchange Commission registration originally filed in December 2018. The terms on its pricing and valuation were not immediately disclosed.

“This process will enable WeWork to make the decision to become publicly traded, subject to market and other conditions,” the company said.

If it decides to offer common stock, WeWork will become the latest among privately owned technology companies with multi-billion valuations tapping capital markets. WeWork has raised tens of billions, and is backed by Japanese conglomerate SoftBank.

According to a recent report in The Wall Street Journal, WeWork’s latest cash infusion from SoftBank values the company at $45 billion, although estimates vary. The company has annual revenues of $2.5 billion, CEO Adam Neumann told CNBC in a January interview, but is still burning through vast sums of cash.

WeWork is tapping the market at a precarious time, as investors grow more skeptical about unprofitable IPO hopefuls trying to raise money in a volatile market.

Some of them—like Uber, which on Friday lowered its IPO expectations — have cautioned they may never turn a profit. It raises the question of how long investors will tolerate high valuations at companies racking up vast losses.

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