Rumours that US co-working giant WeWork is gearing up for a stock market float intensified this week after the firm distributed flyers offering rent-free deals to potential occupiers outside some of its London locations.
The marketing tactic is thought to be an attempt to increase WeWork’s occupancy rates - and valuation - ahead of an initial public offering (IPO).WeWork has opened a number of new sites in London in recent months and announced several major letting deals across the city as it continues to rapidly scale up.It was reported this week that the company raised $760m (£590m) in its latest funding round, putting its valuation at $20bn.The push to swell its membership and fill the vacant space at the newly opened centres would suggest it was moving towards an IPO later this year, one source close to WeWork told Property Week.“It does look like a ploy to fill as much space as possible as it moves towards an IPO,” the source said. “It has opened a lot of space and has got a lot more coming. The value, in terms of the IPO, is having desks sold. It gives them a bigger multiple in their valuation.”WeWork chief executive Adam Neumann last month confirmed that the company does plan to go public, but he said he still hadn’t decided when and where to list its shares.