After Failing Miserably the First Time, WeWork Merges With NBA Owner's SPAC for Second Shot at Going Public

The coworking startup gets a new lease on shareholder life thanks to BowX Acquisition Corp.

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2 min read

Lest you thought SPACs were the sole domain of adult-website hosts or Grand Slam-winning tennis stars, they are also the hot commodities tool of choice for NBA stars and franchise owners. 

Wall Street Journal got the scoop that BowX Acquisition Corp. — a SPAC launched last year by Bow Capital founder and Sacramento Kings owner Vivek Ranadivé that counts Shaquille O'Neal among its top advisors — has made its first big splash by merging with volatile real estate startup WeWork.

It's been roughly a year and a half since WeWork's IPO flopped with investors. Founder Adam Neumann was jettisoned as CEO and SoftBank took control of the coworking company's assets. (Where does the time go?) But as TechCrunch has reported, WeWork slowly stabilized under new management, setting the table for Ranadivé's wager on its future returns. 

Related: Stripchat Becomes First Adult Cam Site to Launch a SPAC

Per the Journal, BowX "values WeWork at $9 billion including debt," and "as part of the deal, WeWork would raise $1.3 billion, including $800 million in what is called a private investment in public equity, or PIPE, from Insight Partners, funds managed by Starwood Capital Group, Fidelity Management and others."

Just as a refresher, SPAC stands for Special Purpose Acquisition Company, and is effectively a blank-check firm created with an eye on specialized acquisitions for mutually lucrative public offerings. Which, while not quite as sexy as an NFT, could prove to be just as speculatively — and spectacularly — lucrative.

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