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WeWork agrees to go public through a SPAC deal with BowX Acquisition

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A guest attends the opening ceremony of WeWork Hong Kong flagship location in Hong Kong, China February 23, 2017.

Bobby Yip | Reuters

WeWork has agreed to go public through a merger with blank-check firm BowX Acquisition Corp that values the office-sharing startup at $9 billion including debt, The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday, citing people familiar with the matter.

The company disclosed to prospective investors it had lost about $3.2 billion last year as part of a pitch for a stock market listing by merging with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), sources told Reuters earlier this week.

The office-sharing startup’s plans for its high-profile initial public offering imploded in October 2019 due to investor concerns over the office-sharing startup’s business model and its founder Adam Neumann’s management style.

The company is also raising $1.3 billion in capital, including $800 million in private investment from Insight Partners, funds managed by Starwood Capital, Fidelity Management and others, the Journal reported.

WeWork did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

A SPAC is a shell firm that uses proceeds from an IPO to buy a private firm.

WeWork was valued at nearly $47 billion in 2019 but saw its valuation plummet to roughly $8 billion after SoftBank was forced to extend a life-saving financing lifeline to WeWork.

BowX Acquisition raised $420 million in its IPO in August last year.

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