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WeWork, at US$47b valuation, files for public share listing

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WeWork, the fast-growing office-sharing startup, said on Monday it had filed documents for a stock market listing to help fuel further expansion.

[SAN FRANCISCO] WeWork, the fast-growing office-sharing startup, said on Monday it had filed documents for a stock market listing to help fuel further expansion.

The New York-based firm valued at some US$47 billion by private investors and operating in some 600 cities worldwide, said it filed its registration confidentially in December with the Securities & Exchange Commission.

The confidential filing allows the company to begin the listing process before divulging key financial and business information.

"This process will enable WeWork to make the decision to become publicly traded, subject to market and other conditions," WeWork said in a statement.

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WeWork has taken the lead in the co-working space and in the process is disrupting the office and real estate market with smartly designed offices, often with free-flowing beer and coffee.

Started in 2010, WeWork has hundreds of thousands of customers from individual entrepreneurs to Fortune 500 companies needing temporary or permanent office space.

The monthly deals can be particularly attractive to independent workers who don't want to make a long-term commitment. But WeWork also rents to employees of large firms such as IBM where regional offices are less convenient.

In January, Japanese tech giant SoftBank invested some US$2 billion in the company as it rebranded itself as "The We Company."

WeWork offered no details on how much money it would seek to raise, its valuation or the timing of its offering.

But the news comes amid a wave of listings from Silicon Valley "unicorns," or startups worth at least US$1 billion, including Lyft, Pinterest, Slack and Uber.

In 2017, WeWork agreed to buy the Lord & Taylor flagship store on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan in a sign of the disruption of the real estate market.

AFP