Despite the tepid response so far to WeWork’s IPO, which could see the company go public at less than half its current $47 billion valuation, the company is currently plowing ahead with the offering.
On top of that, it may even rush to finish its presentations to institutional investors — aka its road show — and price the offering by September 29, Bloomberg reports, citing unnamed sources.
That’s because the evening of September 29 is the start of Rosh Hashanah, one of the most important Jewish holidays in the year. WeWork’s founder CEO Adam Neumann and his wife Rebekah Neumann are Jewish and have publicly discussed how important it is to them to practice their faith. Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, is a two-day holiday typically spent in synagogue where Jews are asked to pause all business and turn off their mobile phones.
If the roadshow and pricing were not complete by then, and Neumann were to become incommunicado, that’s not an ideal situation for the ruler of a multi-billion real estate business in the midst of a multi-billion dollar IPO.
But wrapping up in a little over two weeks may be a tall order.
Since the company published its financials and disclosures to the SEC as part of its IPO, it has come under fire on all counts. Investors are wary of its money losing business model; they are concerned about its losses and cash flow; and they are concerned about governance issues that concentrates sole power in Neumann’s hands.
WeWork’s has seen its projected valuation cut from $47 billion to less than $20 billion due to a lack of interest from investors. And Softbank, WeWork’s largest outside shareholder, has reportedly asked the company to delay its IPO.
WeWork has been working to address some of its governance concerns. It added a woman to its board and Neumann returned a controversial $5.9 million payment he was granted for use of the word “we.” But concerns still linger. The WeWork prospectus showed the company paid Neumann rent and lent him money, and that he has locked down voting control in the company.
WeWork declined comment, citing its quiet period.
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