Airbnb Reportedly Rejects Ackman SPAC Proposal

Airbnb reportedly rejected a proposal to merge into Bill Ackman's Pershing Square Tontine SPAC.
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Airbnb, the home-share platform, rejected a merger approach from the hedge-fund manager Bill Ackman and his Pershing Square Tontine special purpose acquisition company, a media report says. 

Airbnb hasn't completely ruled out a merger with Ackman's holding company, Bloomberg News reported. But early discussions were broken off when Airbnb filed confidentially for an IPO last month, the news service reported.

Two weeks ago Airbnb submitted the paperwork necessary to file for an initial public offering. "The number of shares to be offered and the price range for the proposed offering have not yet been determined," Airbnb wrote.

The travel marketplace had been expected to go public sometime this year, but the damaging effect of covid-19 on the travel industry reportedly delayed those plans. 

Chief Executive Brian Chesky said in a statement in May that the company expected its total revenue to drop by more than half in 2020 due to the pandemic. 

In response, Airbnb laid off 25% of its roughly 7,500 employees and slashed other expenses, such as investments in non-core businesses. 

Airbnb was originally slated to go public earlier this year, but the company changed those plans as the global coronavirus slowdown was particularly damaging to the hospitality industry. 

Meanwhile, Ackman's blank check company raised $4 billion in an IPO in July and Ackman has been in discussions with multiple potential companies, including Airbnb, according to Bloomberg sources. 

Pershing Square Tontine is the largest ever. Following its IPO the entity had $5 billion in capital upon which it can draw.