(Reuters) – SoftBank Group <9984.T>, a top shareholder in the holding company of U.S. office-sharing startup WeWork, is urging it to shelve a planned IPO on concerns over the valuation that can be achieved in a listing, the Financial Times reported on Monday.
A SoftBank spokeswoman declined to comment on the report, which cited sources familiar with the matter.
Investor scepticism has already forced money-losing The We Company to weigh slashing its IPO valuation to a little more than $20 billion, sources told Reuters last week, following weak initial trading at other startups including SoftBank-backed Uber Technologies Inc <UBER.N>.
While SoftBank and its $100 billion Vision Fund emphasise their long term investing credentials, founder and CEO Masayoshi Son has set out an ambitious IPO pipeline for its tech investments, spanning ride-hailing, fintech and health startups.
Putting the IPO of We Company on hold would disrupt that schedule at a time when SoftBank is seeking funds from investors for a second Vision Fund.
SoftBank made a follow-up investment in We Company, one of its biggest tech bets, at a $47 billion valuation earlier this year – a number widely treated with scepticism by analysts.
(Reporting by Bharath Manjesh in Bengaluru and Sam Nussey in Tokyo; Editing by Maju Samuel and Muralikumar Anantharaman)