Sep 17, 2019

Why WeWork waits

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

WeWork yesterday slammed the brakes on its beleaguered IPO, with sources saying that the process should resume in mid-to-late October.

  • Who's at fault? The "other guy," per multiple other guys. But everyone agrees that the calendar played a key role.

Between the lines: As of this past weekend, it was still all systems go. WeWork and SoftBank were hammering out final structure and size details of SoftBank's cornerstone IPO commitment, and bankers were booking ballrooms. The idea was to launch the roadshow either Monday or Tuesday, with a pricing next Thursday night into first trades on Friday.

That's when things get murky. I've heard that the SoftBank deal couldn't quite be finalized in time, although I've also heard it's all sewn up. I've heard that some big investors kept pushing for additional governance changes, but I've also heard that the book is effectively covered.

  • The IPO needed to launch by yesterday in order to price in September, as this isn't the sort of company that can afford a truncated roadshow.
  • Rosh Hashanah begins a week from this Sunday night, and Yom Kippur is the following week. It's generally considered disrespectful to roadshow during the Jewish high holidays, and it would have been a particular no-go for Israel-born CEO Adam Neumann.
  • That brings us to the week of Oct. 16.
  • WeWork could launch then, but only if it can do so with at least preliminary Q3 numbers. Company finance execs today have been charged with determining when those figures can be compiled and reported.
  • WeWork isn't saying much publicly, except putting out a statement last night that it expects to complete the IPO by year-end. Remember, the corresponding credit facility commitments expire if the public offering pushes past 2019.

The bottom line: This is obviously a negative event, with WeWork bonds tumbling deep on the news. And it provides more schadenfreude for those in Silicon Valley who want to see SoftBank suffer. At the same time, however, so far it's more of a procedural fail than a material one.

Go deeper: The battle over WeWork's IPO

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WeWork picks up the pieces after ousting its CEO

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

When someone makes the inevitable WeWork movie, consider it a remake of the end of Quentin Tarantino's 1992 film Reservoir Dogs. Almost all of the major characters die. The exception is Mr. Pink, who seems to escape, but then we hear police sirens and his fate is left ambiguous.

Driving the news: Founder and CEO Adam Neumann was fired on Tuesday in a boardroom coup that he enabled by recently changing governance terms.

Go deeperArrowSep 25, 2019

Podcast: WeFight

WeWork's largest investor is pushing to oust its CEO, putting an IPO in further doubt. Dan digs in with The Wall Street Journal's Maureen Farrell.

Go deeper: Latest WeWork drama: SoftBank vs. Adam Neumann

Keep ReadingArrowSep 23, 2019

Latest WeWork drama: SoftBank vs. CEO Adam Neumann

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The WeWork soap opera had been scheduled to take a short hiatus, at least until Q3 numbers could be compiled, but then the company surprised everyone with a pop-up episode over the weekend.

What's happening: The WSJ reported yesterday that "a bloc of WeWork directors is planning to push Adam Neumann to step down as chief executive." CNBC added that SoftBank's Masayoshi Son supports the move.

Go deeperArrowSep 23, 2019