It's about nothing more or less than pure finances.
WeWork has to go public as soon as possible before it runs into a problem raising growth capital, which it particularly relies on for its business model.
In short, Tiernan Ray, tech columnist for TheStreet, described the company's situation in a recent article in which he quoted Pierre Ferragu, an analyst with New Street Research. WeWork needs to raise public equity as soon as possible so it has the cash it needs to secure a line of credit from lenders. It needs that line of credit so it has the money needed to buy leases to get new tenants as it leases out properties for a long period of time. Without that long-term funding, WeWork doesn't have a stable business model.
TheStreet's Tech Editor Nelson Wang noted that its "access to a $6 billion line of credit is contingent upon them successfully IPO-ing and raising at least $3 billion in cash because of the IPO, so their business model is very cash intensive." He added, "In order for them to expand as rapidly as they have in the past, they need that access to capital."
So what happens if WeWork fails to go public?
Ray said, "if they were not to get this IPO, and if they don't get this $6 billion line of credit that's contingent on that IPO, they have to go looking in the private markets." The amount of capital raised in a private round of financing would likely be less than that of a public round.
Notably, Adam Neumann, WeWork founder and CEO was forced to step down as CEO. This could conceivably make an IPO more likely, as investors had indicated they preferred Neumann does not run the company.
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