WeWork warns of bankruptcy risk after $700 million net loss in 2023

WeWork, the co-working space company that went from a $47 billion valuation to a cautionary tale at business schools, warned Tuesday that it is at risk of bankruptcy.

In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the company reported a net loss of nearly $700 million in the first six months of this year, after posting a net loss of $10.7 billion in the previous three years.

“Our losses from operating activities and negative cash flows raise substantial doubt about our ability to continue as a going concern,” WeWork said in the filing. In accounting, period “going to worry” A business has enough resources to stay afloat. The company reported about $2.9 billion in long-term debt as of June 30.

WeWork said that if its situation does not improve, it will consider options such as selling assets, reducing business operations and “seeking relief under the US bankruptcy code.” Its stock has traded below $1 for months, closing at approx 21 cents Late Tuesday.

The University of Michigan’s Stephen M. “Company followers have been waiting for this for a while,” said Eric Gordon, a professor at the Ross School of Business. “The clock is ticking for WeWork.”

In a statement on Tuesday, the company struck an optimistic tone, underscoring that it was able to increase its second-quarter revenue by 4 percent year-over-year. It added that it is focusing on increasing membership, improving the terms of its real estate portfolio and reducing its operating costs, where its 777 locations worldwide are occupied. Pre-epidemic conditions.

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Since its founding in 2010, WeWork has seen a rise and fall so dramatic that it has become the subject of numerous books and academic case studies. Documentary and a fantasy miniseries Apple TV.

Some experts, like Gordon, say the company’s core business model — renting office space, tricking it out with beanbag chairs and free beer, then renting it back — isn’t revolutionary. But the brand made a name for itself by attracting top investors, including SoftBank founder and CEO Masayoshi Son, who poured billions of dollars into the company — and then called in the investment. “Idiot.”

“They were brilliant at creating the aura of being the next big thing, but they were never financially successful,” Gordon said.

WeWork Goes public in October 2021 Its first attempt was unveiled two years ago. Investors were increasingly concerned about CEO and co-founder Adam Newman’s erratic behavior and extravagant spending, which led to his resignation in 2019.

The coronavirus pandemic has added to the company’s woes, with many white-collar workers still opting for home desks instead of offices or spaces run by WeWork — which Newman once branded. “The World’s First Physical Social Network.”

Office vacancies in USA passed 20 percent Earlier this year, according to real estate services firm JLL and researchers at Columbia University detected A 45 percent decline in office values ​​in 2020, with little recovery expected in the coming years.

WeWork has yet to name a permanent CEO since Newman’s departure.

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