From a staggering $47 billion valuation in 2019, to the unexpected departure of its CEO and CFO in 2023, and then plummeting towards the brink of bankruptcy with a 90% drop in its shares to almost $0, co-working behemoth WeWork has experienced a remarkable twist of fate.
On Wednesday, WeWork’s shares nosedived by 38% to reach a paltry $0.13 on the New York Stock Exchange, triggered by a dire bankruptcy warning.
The year-to-date decline of its shares now exceeds 90%. Despite SoftBank’s support, WeWork has been grappling with turmoil ever since its failed attempt to go public in 2019 due to substantial losses, governance issues, and the leadership approach of then-founder-CEO Adam Neumann. Subsequent years didn’t alleviate WeWork’s challenges. Its eventual 2021 public offering came at a significantly reduced valuation, but profitability remained elusive. Despite Japanese conglomerate SoftBank injecting substantial funds, WeWork continued to operate at a loss.
Having once held a 2019 valuation of $47 billion, WeWork’s market capitalization has now dwindled to approximately $274 million.
“If we are not successful in improving our liquidity position and the profitability of our operations, we may need to consider all strategic alternatives, including restructuring or refinancing our debt, seeking additional debt or equity capital, reducing or delaying our business activities and strategic initiatives, selling assets, other strategic transactions, and/or other measures, including obtaining relief under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code,” the company said, as per the CNBC report.