WeWork is bankrupt

The IPO of the office space provider WeWork was postponed in September. However, it was said that the IPO should in any case be completed by the end of the year. Now the start-up is said to be bankrupt by the end of November. What's going on with the former high-flyer?

In times of the sharing economy, WeWork's business model appears grandiose: the start-up, which renamed itself "The We Company" in the summer, provides other companies with long-term rented properties. In addition to many start-up companies, customers also include IBM.

Contrary to the potential, the business has been very loss-making since it was founded in 2010. In addition, there was criticism of the power of the controversial boss and co-founder Adam Neumann. Nevertheless, plans for an IPO became known in April of this year: The company had filed a corresponding application with the US Securities and Exchange Commission in December 2018. For September 2019, WeWork had envisaged proceeds of between three and four billion US dollars. This would have been the second largest IPO of the year, after that of the transportation company Uber, which had raised more than eight billion US dollars when it was listed in May.

In September of this year, however, the big bad news came: WeWork investor Softbank pushed for the planned IPO to be postponed. The largest shareholder wanted an initial listing on the stock exchange at a later date as investors expressed concern about WeWork's business development and corporate governance.

Three options

Since then, Wework has been negotiating new financial aid. But now the start-up should run out of money by the end of November, much earlier than assumed in September, reports the Handelsblatt. Analysts had assumed that the cash reserves would last until next spring. Now WeWork has to hope that one of three potential rescue options will come to fruition.

According to this, Softbank could intervene on the one hand - the major investor is apparently negotiating a five billion US dollar injection of funds, which is to take place partly through debt and partly through the issue of new shares.

On the other hand, there is the possibility that there will be new loans from JP Morgan Chase. America's largest bank is leading a consortium that wants to put together a financing package of five billion US dollars. If the two options do not work, WeWork would still have the option of restructuring itself through insolvency proceedings.

WeWork should decide on a solution option in the coming days. To date, the company has already sold or closed parts of the company that are not part of its core business in order to save costs.