Yesterday, news broke that WeWork was postponing its much-anticipated initial public offering until at least next month. Investors balked at initial proposed valuations of $47B or more, with a figure of $15B or less seen as more likely by those being asked to buy shares in the company. The company and its main backer, SoftBank, have chosen to hit the pause button rather than sell a stake at that level.
Here are six key questions for WeWork as it weighs its next move.
How much cash does it need to keep going?
One reason investors were wary about buying into WeWork at an elevated valuation is the losses the company is making: $690M in the first half of 2019 and close to $3B in the past three years. Part of the reason for going public was to raise $3B in equity and $6B in debt to allow it to keep operating and growing while sustaining losses it said will continue indefinitely.
Sanford C. Bernstein analyst Chris Lane said in a report on WeWork that the company needs $7.2B over the next four years to get it through its cash flow-negative period, according to a report by Bloomberg. That figure rises to $9.8B if there is a recession before 2022.
Where does it get that money from?
There is still the prospect that WeWork could push ahead with its IPO and raise the $3B of equity, which would unlock $6B in debt from a group of banks, including JP Morgan Chase and Goldman Sachs, which have promised to provide if WeWork can float by 31 December.