WeWork's biggest outside shareholder, SoftBank, is reportedly asking for the IPO to be put on hold because investors don't seem interested

  • SoftBank, WeWork's largest outside shareholder, wants the office-space-subleasing company to shelve its embattled IPO process, which has received a chilly reception from potential investors, according to the Financial Times.
  • It is the latest blow to WeWork, which has also reportedly cut its projected valuation to under $20 billion — less than half the $47 billion valuation it got from its last fundraising round.
  • SoftBank is reportedly concerned that if WeWork were to go public at a valuation much lower than that $47 billion figure, it could hurt SoftBank's ability to raise its second Vision Fund.
  • Here's a roundup of Business Insider's WeWork coverage.

SoftBank, WeWork's largest outside shareholder, is urging the office-space-subleasing company to pause its embattled IPO process after a chilly reception from would-be investors, the Financial Times' Eric Platt and James Fontanella-Khan reported.

The news comes just days after The Wall Street Journal reported WeWork — which technically rebranded itself as The We Company earlier this year — was contemplating slashing its projected public-market valuation to less than half, ahead of what would be one of the higher-profile public offerings this year.

A WeWork spokesperson told Business Insider: "The company is in a quiet period and will politely decline to comment."

Read more: Mutual funds like Fidelity's famed Contrafund have slashed valuations on their WeWork stakes

WeWork could cut the valuation for its IPO to under $20 billion and may even postpone the offering, The Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday, citing unnamed sources. The company had been valued at $47 billion in its last fundraising round.

The company is planning to launch an investor roadshow this week to drum up interest in the offering, The Journal reported. WeWork's underwriters are also planning to meet with investors to discuss possible changes to ensure a successful IPO, The Journal said.

SoftBank and its Saudi-backed Vision Fund have invested more than $10 billion in WeWork.

Read more: The CEO of coworking startup Convene is worried bad press around WeWork's model could taint the entire flex-office industry

According to the report, SoftBank is concerned that if WeWork goes public at a valuation much lower than its private-market valuation, it might hurt the firm's ability to raise its second Vision Fund, hence its choice to pressure the company into dropping its IPO plans.