Chinese WeWork rival Ucommune files for US IPO, sources say

Ucommune is looking to buck the gloomy trend set off by WeWork’s disastrous IPO.

Photo Credit: Ucommune via TIA

Ucommune, a leading co-working firm in China, has filed a confidential prospectus to go public in the US before the end of this year, Reuters reported, citing two sources familiar with the matter.

The company, which was valued at about USD 2.6 billion in 2018, has tapped financial service firms Citigroup and Credit Suisse to work on its initial public offering, with Bank of America having a minor role in the deal, the people said. The prospectus was filed in September.

Ucommune’s decision to push through with the offering will rest on feedback provided by potential investors, the sources added.

Earlier this year, it was reported that the company was seeking a USD 3 billion valuation for a New York listing sometime this year. It was previously considering a listing in Hong Kong.

According to Reuters, Ucommune’s latest move surprised investment bankers given its similarities with WeWork, which recently pulled its IPO plans amid negative investor feedback.

Last week, WeWork announced that it has accepted a rescue package put together by SoftBank, which included USD 5 billion in new financing, a USD 3 billion tender offer for existing shareholders, and the Japanese company’s previous USD 1.5 billion commitment.

In an all-hands meeting last week, SoftBank chief operating officer Marcelo Claure, who is now executive chairman at WeWork, confirmed layoffs at the US co-working firm, Recode reported. Though Claure didn’t give any specific details.

Currently, Ucommune has shared workspaces in 200 locations across 37 countries. It has offices in Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Singapore, and New York.

This article first appeared on Tech in Asia.