WeWork To Go Public In $9 Billion SPAC Deal 18 Months After IPO Collapse

Here’s the other point. This is a “de-SPAC merger,” in which WeWork will merge with BowX, take its $483 million, and become a public company. It is natural to emphasize the SPAC here: It is a SPAC deal, that is the mechanism that WeWork would use to go public, and the SPAC and its sponsor would play a major role in both the deal to go public and WeWork’s future as a public company.

But I wouldn’t emphasize it too much. If this deal goes through, more than half the money WeWork raises will come not from the SPAC but from the parallel “private investment in public equity,” or PIPE, transaction that it does with big institutional investors. WeWork is apparently out on the road now, with a pitchbook, explaining to big institutional investors why it’s a good investment at a $9 billion valuation. Eventually that will work, or not; it will find buyers at that price, or it will have to lower the price, or it will have to give up on the deal and stay private. Or else demand - from these big institutional investors in these private meetings - will be so strong that WeWork will be able to upsize the deal and raise more money, or it will be able to raise the price and go public at a $12 billion valuation or whatever.

At the top of the hour, WeWork CEO Sandeep Mathrani and Vivek Ranadivé, BowX founder and owner of the NBA’s Sacramento Kings and founder of Tibco Software, will appear on CNBC to answer questions about the deal.

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