WeWork’s parent company, We Co., has chosen to list its shares on Nasdaq and plans sweeping changes in its governance as the shared-workspace provider moves closer to its highly scrutinized initial public offering.
Skepticism over the company’s governance as well as its economic model and balance sheet have plagued its IPO since it was first announced last month. Reports have pegged the stock’s valuation at around $20 billion, significantly lower than the $47 billion expected earlier this year.
A number of issues have clouded the company’s path toward going public, including large losses, management’s larger-than-normal share of votes and large insider share sales in the private market by CEO Adam Neumann.
Imagine a world where video games are used to promote peace. #WeWorkLabs member and South Sudanese refugee @OfficialLual has made this world a reality. Watch how his company, @junubgames, builds empathy by putting the player in the shoes of a refugee. #NationalVideoGamesDay pic.twitter.com/3PBEOBzJwD
— WeWork (@WeWork) September 12, 2019
Equally troubling are concerns that the company’s $17 billion in global commercial lease obligations will be difficult to shoulder if the economy sours and demand for shared workspace falls.
We Co., the entity that is going public, owns 100% of subsidiary WeWork. Founded in 2010, WeWork takes out leases on commercial property and then divides the space and rents it to businesses and individuals.