Skip to main content

We know this might be hard to believe, so allow us to spell it out: A financial structure designed specifically to keep companies from having to disclose the unpleasant truths about themselves, in this case thrown together by a retired basketball star and semi-coherent television personality, merged with a company with a long and proud history of numerical fantasy, and that merger proved plagued by all of the above.

Actually, that didn’t take long at all, so here’s the long story:

WeWork Inc. said in a securities filing that it would restate several quarters of its results, including its latest one, and that management has concluded there was a material weakness in its internal control…. WeWork Inc. said in a securities filing that it would restate several quarters of its results, including its latest one, and that management has concluded there was a material weakness in its internal control….

“The ‘material weakness’ referenced in the filing today existed at BowX and does not carry over to WeWork,” the company said.

Yes, as Masa Son knows all too well, there was no material weakness at all at WeWork, which is why it went public in a $7.9 billion SPAC deal rather than a $70 billion IPO. Has anyone learned anything from this that they haven’t from all of the other previous blank-check follies, Son not excluded? Well, yes, sort of, but mostly no.

Shares opened the trading day at $13.06 apiece under ticker symbol “GRAB,” following a deal with Altimeter Growth Corp. that valued the four-time CNBC Disruptor 50 company at nearly $40 billion. But they lost more than a fifth of their value by Thursday’s closing bell, finishing more than 20% lower at $8.75 apiece.

Renewable natural-gas producer Opal Fuels LLC is merging with a special-purpose acquisition company to go public with a valuation of roughly $2 billion, the companies said.

[Grab’s merger is] a sign that companies that want to take the SPAC route to public markets can still do so, and cash in — even as regulators step up scrutiny of the process…. SPACs aren't out of the picture. There were 60 SPAC IPOs in the third quarter, up from 46 in the second, FactSet found.

WeWork to Restate Results Due to Classification Error With Its SPAC Acquirer [WSJ]
Softbank-backed Grab falls more than 20% in first day of trading following largest-ever SPAC merger [CNBC]
Renewable Natural Gas Firm Opal Fuels to Go Public in $2 Billion SPAC Merger [WSJ]
Could the biggest SPAC deal on record reignite the Wall Street fad? [MarketWatch]

For more of the latest in litigation, regulation, deals and financial services trends, sign up for Finance Docket, a partnership between Breaking Media publications Above the Law and Dealbreaker.

Related

wework

WeWork’s Dream Of Going Public Is About To Come True

All it took was changing everything about itself, an 80% valuation haircut and Shaq.

wework masa son

Of Course WeWork Is In Talks With Some SPACs

We can only hope one of them is Masa Son’s.

shaq

Shaquille O’Neal Is Taking WeWork Public Via SPAC And Other Tales Of Finance In 2021

Like another company going public via SPAC giving you access to the IPOs it’s choosing to shun.

(Getty Images)

Masa Son Officially Out Of Ideas, And So Will Launch A SPAC

The greatest financial performance artist in history has settled for the easy and derivative.

ourobouros

SPAC To Merge With SPAC That Merged With Spinoff From Company The First SPAC Is Merging With

This may be the first SPAC to essentially merge with itself, but it will most assuredly not be the last.

(Getty Images)

SEC Upgrades Interest In SPAC Boom From ‘Passing’ To ‘Nearly Interrogatory’

It has some questions for some banks that they can choose whether or not to answer, for now.

wework

WeWork Comes To Terms With What It Actually Is

The Silicon Valley disruptor/kombucha distributor’s new high priest is, uh, a real-estate executive.