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上市失敗的WeWork,摩根大通為何要救?

Rey Mashayekhi 2019年10月29日

摩根大通今年的經歷直白地告訴了我們,IPO絕對不是一件容易的事。

摩根大通資產管理部門的首席執行官瑪麗·卡拉漢·厄爾多斯在2016年的瑞士達沃斯論壇上。圖片來源:SIMON DAWSON/BLOOMBERG/GETTY IMAGES
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在IPO受阻之后,共享辦公公司WeWork面臨的當務之急就是融資問題。摩根大通的銀行家們目前已經與WeWork的高層就融資問題展開了談判,然而就在這時,一位意想不到的大佬也參加了這場談判。

作為摩根大通資產和財富管理部門的負責人,瑪麗·卡拉漢·厄爾多斯負責管理的資本高達2萬億美元,因此她通常不會參加對企業的融資談判。但據知情人士透露,厄爾多斯親自參與了摩根大通對WeWork的融資事務。這也足以表明,摩根大通與這家它投資了數十億美元的共享辦公創業公司之間的關系之深。

據消息人士稱,厄爾多斯之所以親自參與WeWork的融資事務,是由于WeWork的聯合創始人、前首席執行官亞當·諾伊曼與摩根大通有密切的個人銀行業務聯系。由于公司IPO的失敗,諾伊曼已經不再擔任WeWork的首席執行官了,但他仍然留任公司的非常務董事長一職,同時也仍然是WeWork的最大股東之一。他的大部分個人財富,與WeWork公司以及該公司的前景都有直接關系。

這一點對摩根大通也很重要,因為摩根大通在WeWork的利益,不僅僅是這幾年提供給它的幾十億美元貸款,也不僅僅是由它作為主要承銷商、目標融資30億美元的IPO,或者是它策劃中的IPO成功后為WeWork追加的60億美元債務融資。(據報道,在IPO失敗后,WeWork與摩根大通的談判主要圍繞一筆價值約30億美元的債務融資——雖然這筆交易能否成功,還要看它的大金主軟銀是否能注入一筆新的股本。不過摩根大通和WeWork的代表都拒絕就本文發表評論。)

摩根大通之所以如此積極地幫WeWork脫困,也是考慮到了諾伊曼與它的個人銀行業務關系。除了直接向諾依曼提供了9750萬美元的貸款(包括抵押貸款),摩根大通等幾家銀行還向諾依曼提供了5億美元的信貸額度,這些貸款以諾依曼在WeWork的股份作為擔保。簡單說來,諾依曼之所以能夠用個人名義向摩根大通、瑞銀和瑞士信貸借到5億美元貸款,靠的是價值5億美元的WeWork股份作抵押。如果WeWork倒閉了,那么這些抵押品也就失去了價值。

這樣看來,我們就不難理解,厄爾多斯和她的老板——摩根大通CEO杰米·戴蒙為何對WeWork的前景如此關注。摩根大通已經向WeWork傾注了大量的財力資源,為了不讓這一切打水漂,兩位大佬只好親自上陣主持交易。摩根大通不僅是WeWork的控股方之一,據WeWork的S-1招股說明書披露,摩根大通內部的多個實體還持有超過1850萬股的該公司A類股票。摩根士丹利的分析師也在最近的一份報告中稱,摩根大通在WeWork的持股比例為4%。(高盛也持有1.4%的WeWork股份。據分析師們估算,高盛可能會對它持有的WeWork股份減記2.64億美元。而歸功于自己對這些投資的會計操作,摩根大通很可能會規避這種損失。)

此外,摩根大通還有聲譽的考慮。摩根大通的IPO咨詢業務一直比不上老對手高盛和摩根士丹利。今年是它的IPO咨詢業務的復蘇之年,摩根大通本來是要把WeWork的IPO塑造成一個成功典范。結果非但典范沒有樹立起來,摩根大通自己還因為這筆交易被卷到了風口浪尖。更糟糕的是對公司的名聲有損——除了WeWork上市失敗,今年以來,Lyft和SmileDirectClub的上市也非常不順,摩根大通也是這兩家公司的主要IPO承銷商。

對摩根大通來說,WeWork的上市失敗,也讓它在沙特阿美的IPO代理權之中平添了一些變數。沙特阿美的IPO也受到了萬眾矚目。雖然摩根大通已經被指定為此次IPO的承銷商之一,但摩根大通內部仍然希望自己有機會成為這筆交易的主要承銷商,從而通過這樣一次“史上最大IPO”獲得救贖。

當然,這種事說起來容易,做起來難。據《華爾街日報》10月10日報道,沙特王儲穆罕默德·本·薩勒曼希望沙特阿美的估值為2萬億美元,但承銷商的估值趨于1.5萬億美元左右。另外,這筆交易的結構十分復雜,還面臨一些監管方面的挑戰,這些因素也是必須要考慮的。還有,沙特阿美似乎更青睞首先在沙特的國內交易所上市,之后在進入國際上的主要交易所。最后,沙特阿美如果在美國(比如紐交所)上市,可能還會與美國的證券監管規定發生沖突,并且引發外界對該公司治理問題的一些質疑。

總之,摩根大通今年的經歷直白地告訴了我們,IPO絕對不是一件容易的事。(財富中文網)

譯者:樸成奎

As bankers at JPMorgan Chase have knuckled down with WeWork’s top brass over financing that would provide the beleaguered office provider with much-needed liquidity in the wake of its derailed IPO, an unexpected presence has been involved in the talks.

As head of JPMorgan’s $2 trillion asset and wealth management division, Mary Callahan Erdoes doesn’t typically partake in corporate finance negotiations. But Erdoes has been a fixture when it comes to WeWork-related matters at the bank, according to sources with knowledge of the discussions—a testament to how deep ties have run between America’s largest financial institution and the coworking startup it backed to the tune of billions of dollars.

Erdoes’ involvement stems from JPMorgan’s significant personal banking ties with WeWork co-founder and former CEO Adam Neumann, sources said. Neumann have stepped down as chief executive amid the fallout from the company’s floundering IPO, but he remains WeWork’s non-executive chairman and one of its largest shareholders—with much of his personal wealth tied directly to the company and its prospects.

That’s important to JPMorgan, because the bank’s interests in WeWork go beyond the billions of dollars in loans it’s provided the company in recent years, the attempted $3 billion IPO on which it served as lead underwriter, or the $6 billion in additional debt financing that it drew up for WeWork contingent on a successful public offering. (In lieu of the collapsed IPO, WeWork’s recent discussions with JPMorgan center around a new financing package reportedly worth up to $3 billion in debt—though such a deal is likely contingent on an influx of new equity capital from prolific backer SoftBank. Representatives for JPMorgan and WeWork declined to comment for this article.)

In looking to guide WeWork out of its current malaise, the bank is also accounting for its considerable relationship with Neumann on the personal wealth management side of its business. In addition to $97.5 million in loans, including mortgages, that it directly extended to Neumann, JPMorgan is among a consortium of banks that provided the WeWork co-founder with a $500 million line of credit. That credit is secured by Neumann’s shares in the company—which means that as WeWork goes, so does the value of the collateral against which Neumann personally borrowed half a billion dollars from JPMorgan, UBS and Credit Suisse.

In that sense, it’s understandable why Erdoes and her boss, JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon, have taken such an outsized interest in WeWork’s prospects. Both executives have been directly involved in the bank’s dealings with the coworking firm, as JPMorgan looks to salvage the myriad financial resources it’s poured into the company. Those include an equity ownership stake in WeWork; the company’s S-1 prospectus disclosed various JPMorgan entities as holding more than 18.5 million Class A shares in the firm, and Morgan Stanley analysts pegged the bank’s stake in WeWork at 4% in a recent note. (The analysts estimated that Goldman Sachs, which owns a 1.4% stake in WeWork, could take a $264 million writedown on its shares in the company—with JPMorgan likely avoiding such a hit thanks to its accounting of its investments.)

But perhaps above else, there are reputational factors to consider. WeWork’s public offering was meant to be the crowning achievement of a resurgent year for JPMorgan’s IPO advisory business, which has traditionally lagged behind its rivals at Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley. Instead, the bank has been scrutinized for letting the deal get as far as it did—with the wreckage of WeWork’s failed IPO joining disappointing offerings this year by Lyft and SmileDirectClub, both of which had JPMorgan as their lead underwriter.

For JPMorgan, it’s had the effect of raising the stakes as far as Saudi Aramco’s highly anticipated upcoming IPO is concerned. While the bank is among a cadre of Wall Street giants tapped to shepherd the state-owned oil producer’s massive public offering, internally, JPMorgan likes its chances of being anointed the lead underwriter on the deal—giving it a shot at redemption via potentially the largest IPO of all-time.

Of course, that’s much easier said than done. While Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is said to desire a headline-grabbing $2 trillion valuation for Aramco, that number could end up coming in at closer to $1.5 trillion, the Wall Street Journal reported on October 10. And there’s also the deal’s convoluted structure and regulatory challenges to account for; Aramco appears braced to initially list on Saudi Arabia’s domestic stock exchange before eventually tapping a major international exchange—though a listing in New York, for instance, could potentially fall afoul of U.S. securities regulations and questions about the company’s corporate governance.

As JPMorgan has found out firsthand this year, IPOs can be far from a straightforward proposition.

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