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Nasdaq executive is ‘bullish’ on WeWork and hopes the company will go public eventually

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Via CNBC

A top Nasdaq executive defended WeWork on Tuesday, saying he hopes the work space company will “eventually” list on the exchange even as it faces an expected bailout by Japan’s SoftBank.

In a fireside conversation at the Fintech Abu Dhabi conference, Nasdaq Vice Chairman Edward Knight said he is “bullish” on WeWork in the long term.

“We hope eventually it will list on Nasdaq,” Knight said.

WeWork pulled its plans for an initial public offering on the exchange in September after investors became skeptical of the company’s massive losses and the leadership of former CEO Adam Neumann.

On Monday, CNBC reported Japanese conglomerate SoftBank is in advanced talks to take control of WeWork in a deal that would value the company at between $7.5 billion and $8.5 billion on a pre-funding basis. WeWork’s valuation had been as high as $47 billion in private markets earlier this year.

The company had been set to run out of cash by mid-November, CNBC reported last week. As part of the bailout, which could be announced as soon as Tuesday, Neumann will get roughly $1.7 billion from SoftBank to walk away from the company, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

At the event on Tuesday, Nasdaq’s Knight maintained there’s a “great story in WeWork.” He said Neumann had been successful in attracting capital and “disrupting the whole real estate market in the United States with his idea.”

“I think that idea will eventually have a place in the public markets and the retail public will be able to invest in it, and hopefully it will be on Nasdaq,” he said.

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