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WeWork to go public via SPAC

WASHINGTON (Axios): WeWork said Friday that it has agreed to be taken public by a SPAC sponsored by Vivek Ranadivé’s Bow Capital Management.

Why it matters: This is a sunny ending to a very dark year for WeWork, which was already under pressure before the pandemic crushed co-working.

By the numbers: The deal would give WeWork an implied valuation of around $9 billion.

That’s a dramatic discount to its $47 billion valuation in early 2019, but a slight improvement on where WeWork was valued in a SoftBank-led bailout round later that same year.

In between was WeWork’s abandoned IPO process, and the ouster of founding CEO, Adam Neumann.

Timing: Word of a SPAC deal for WeWork first surfaced weeks ago, and was expected to be announced sometime after SoftBank and Neumann reached a legal settlement related to a failed stock tender offer.

Deal details: The PIPE is an $800 million outlay from firms like Insight Partners, Starwood Capital Group, Centaurus Capital and Fidelity.

One source says that’s an increase from the initial $500 million ask.

Other sources say the PIPE process moved a bit slower than expected, as part of a broader tightening of the PIPE market.

Once the deal is completed, WeWork will trade on the Nasdaq.

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