This long-awaited day is finally here, folks. Office space innovator WeWork (NYSE:WE) is finally trading on a major exchange. After a well-publicized failure to go public, significant changes in executive leadership, and a public health crisis that threatened its entire industry, it is impressive that WeWork has made it this far. As of today, the company is trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol WE. So far this morning, WE stock is trading fairly well, rising 6%.
This debut is considerably different from WeWork’s first attempt at an IPO. When the company first made plans to debut in 2019, it opted for the traditional route with bankers assigning it a high valuation. These days saw WeWork at its peak, and investors believed it could be valued as highly as $47 billion. Today’s debut comes by way of a SPAC merger with BowX Acquisition and the company’s valuation is roughly $9 billion.
What else should investors keep in mind as WE stock finally begins trading? Let’s find out.
WE Stock Debut: What to Know About the WeWork SPAC
- WE shares began trading this morning at the same price that BowX share closed yesterday at, $10.38.
- Despite its initially high valuation, WeWork fell under extreme scrutiny in 2019 when it reported steep losses. These problems were severe enough for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to investigate the company.
- Additional concern was raised by former CEO Adam Neumann’s extreme voting power. His current voting power is roughly 11%. Neumann stands to walk away from the SPAC deal with a fortune of $2.3 billion.
- Following the failed IPO of 2019, WeWork was rescued by Japanese conglomerate SoftBank (OTCMKTS:SFTBY), which still holds a majority stake in the company of roughly 80% after investing $10 billion. Prior to this deal, JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) had submitted a similar proposal. The current SPAC deal included a one-year lock up provision for SoftBank.
- In early 2020, experienced real estate executive Sandeep Mathrani took the reins of WeWork as CEO. Under his leadership, the company has reduced costs and made progress overhauling its extensive portfolio of leases.
- According to the Wall Street Journal, WeWork’s latest pitch to investors included a slide show of case studies claiming that companies would reduce real estate costs by as much as 25% per employee by switching to a WeWork.
- WeWork’s vision for the future centers around the ways in which companies are reimagining their workspaces in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. According to a statement released by the company, Mathrani is focused on the company offering space-as-a-service as it moves forward and adapts to the changing needs of the modern workplace.
On the date of publication, Samuel O’Brient did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.