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Friday, May 21, 2021

WeWork Posts $2BN Quarterly Loss

Office-sharing startup WeWork has posted results reminiscent of the heady days of the dotcom bubble, proudly stepping up to the plate with a $2.06bn (£1.45bn) quarterly loss after being hit hard by Covid-19.

The announcement comes as WeWork prepares for its stock market debut.

The company's first attempt to go public collapsed in 2019 over concerns about its business model and co-founder Adam Neumann's leadership style.

Since Mr Neumann's exit the company has gone through a major shakeup that has seen major job cuts and businesses sold off.

The business felt the impact of the pandemic particularly hard as social distancing rules drove a surge in people working from home and concerns about infections saw workers avoiding shared office spaces.

WeWork, which is backed by Japanese tech giant SoftBank, said its first-quarter revenue almost halved from a year ago to $598m.

The BBC reports that its occupancy rate edged up to 50% in the most recent quarter, compared to 47% in the previous three months.

The company also said it expects the change in working habits to increase demand for the kind of short-term leases it offers.

In March, WeWork said it would finally see its shares start trading on the stock market, through the purchase by the publicly traded BowX Acquisition Corp.

BowX is a so-called special purpose acquisition company, a shell firm that uses proceeds from a public listing to buy a private firm.

The firm is led by the owner of the NBA's Sacramento Kings and affiliated with basketball legend Shaquille O'Neill.

The deal valued WeWork at $9bn - roughly a fifth of the its estimated worth in 2019, before its earlier flotation effort spectacularly imploded.

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