The WeWork initial public offering is full speed ahead, sources familiar with the matter tell CNBC’s David Faber, despite a number of a setbacks including a dramatic cut in its valuation and its biggest outside investor urging the controversial real estate company to shelve the offering.
The IPO roadshow is set to kick off as soon as Monday, the sources said.
WeWork’s roadshow flies in the face of reported advice from its investor SoftBank, which will likely face a multi-billion dollar write down if WeWork debuts at a valuation between $15 and $20 billion. SoftBank had invested $2 billion in WeWork in January at a reported valuation of $47 billion. But WeWork’s valuation was dramatically slashed, sources told Faber last week, as demand for the IPO was not there.
The We Co. is the formal parent company of WeWork. Founded in 2010 by CEO Adam Neumann, the company rents out work spaces to start-ups and other businesses.
WeWork’s planned IPO has drawn many questions from Wall Street, especially due to a controversial remittance for Neumann. In July, the We Co. paid Neumann $5.9 million in a stock transaction for the trademark to “We.” After the payment drew attention from critics, Neumann returned the stock last week, with the company explaining that the change was “at Adam’s direction.” The trademark is the property of We Holdings LLC, which is an investment vehicle of Neumann and co-founder Miguel McKelvey.
The company has over 500 locations, with plans to open nearly 170 new locations. The We Co. says that half of its memberships are based outside the U.S.