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2 years after canceled public launch, revamped WeWork rises in Nasdaq debut

Previous attempt at becoming a publicly traded company disintegrated in spectacular fashion with Israeli founder and CEO Adam Neumann ousted abruptly

WeWork offices are shown, on Thursday, January 16, 2020, in New York. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
WeWork offices are shown, on Thursday, January 16, 2020, in New York. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

NEW YORK — The office-sharing company WeWork made a strong Wall Street debut on Thursday, two years after a previous attempt disintegrated in spectacular fashion with its founder and CEO, Israeli Adam Neumann, ousted abruptly.

Shares of the venture, revamped with new corporate leaders, shot up nearly 10 percent to $11.39 shortly after midday, giving it a market value of about $9 billion.

The surge comes two days after shareholders from a special-purpose acquisition company, or SPAC, called BowX voted to merge with WeWork.

Shares trade on Nasdaq under the ticker “We.”

Known initially for catering to young freelancers, WeWork has turned its focus more towards companies of over than 500 employees looking for space in urban centers.

Chief Executive Sandeep Mathrani, a real estate veteran who was tapped in February 2020, has overseen a major austerity drive, cutting several thousand jobs worldwide and reducing the number of leases.

Adam Neumann, co-founder of WeWork, attends the opening bell ceremony at Nasdaq, in New York, on January 16, 2018. (AP/Mark Lennihan, File)

WeWork hopes to turn the page on the era of Neumann, the co-founder and ex-boss whose antics and temperamental nature brought the company to the brink of bankruptcy.

The move comes two years after the company went into a dramatic tailspin that led to the canceling its planned IPO and accepting a bailout by Japanese investment firm SoftBank.

WeWork generated $658 million in revenue between July and September, but continues to lose money. The group, which has 762 workspaces in 38 countries and 150 cities, hopes to become profitable in the first quarter of next year.

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