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WeWork is in talks to go public through a SPAC deal

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Key Points
  • WeWork is in talks to go public through a merger with a SPAC and is also exploring raising funds from private investors.
  • The office-sharing startup's plans for its high-profile IPO imploded spectacularly in October 2019 due to widespread criticism over its business model and its founder Adam Neumann's management style.
General view of WeWork Weihai Road flagship is seen on April 12, 2018 in Shanghai, China. World's leading co-working space company WeWork will acquire China-based rival naked Hub for 400 million U.S. dollars. (Photo by Jackal Pan/Visual China Group via Getty Images)
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WeWork is in talks to go public through a merger with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) and is also exploring raising funds from private investors, a little over a year after its botched initial public offering, CNBC has confirmed.

The office-sharing startup's plans for its high-profile IPO imploded spectacularly in October 2019 due to widespread criticism over its business model and its founder Adam Neumann's management style.

"Over the past year, WeWork has remained focused on executing our plans for achieving profitability," a WeWork spokesman told CNBC. "Our significant progress combined with the increased market demand for flexible space, shows positive signs for our business. We will continue to explore opportunities that help us move closer towards our goals."

A source directly familiar with the matter told Reuters that WeWork had held talks with at least three blank-check firms over the past two months, cautioning that current talks could fall apart.

"We have SPACs approaching us on a weekly basis," WeWork Executive Chairman Marcelo Claure said at a Bloomberg conference. Claure is also chief operating officer of SoftBank, which bailed out the startup.

The Wall Street Journal earlier reported that WeWork was in talks with a SPAC affiliated with Bow Capital Management and a deal could value WeWork at nearly $10 billion.

WeWork was valued at nearly $47 billion in 2019 but saw its valuation plummet to roughly $8 billion after SoftBank was forced to extend a life-saving financing lifeline to WeWork.

CNBC contributed to this report.