Airbnb revives IPO plans

Home-sharing company could list this year

IPO                                 

The Covid-19 crisis and consequent global lockdown haemorrhaged the home-sharing unicorn Airbnb, forcing it to shelve plans for a 2020 IPO.

However, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal, such ambitions have been revived and Airbnb could file with the Securities and Exchange Commission by the end of the month and start trading before the year is out.

The WSJ revealed that that Morgan Stanley has been hired to lead the listing, with Goldman Sachs in a supporting role.

Speaking to the Financial Times last month, CEO Brian Chesky stated: “When the market is ready, we’ll be ready.” With bookings surpassing 100 million for the first time since the crisis began, the start-up’s founder has greater reason for optimism than in the height of Spring.

During the worst days of the coronavirus pandemic, almost all Airbnb bookings dried up. In order to stay afloat the company secured a $1bn investment in debt and equity securities from Sixth Street Partners and Silver Lake Partners.

Having stayed afloat, Airbnb is seemingly anxious to float its stock to the public, despite its current valuation of $18bn (£13.7bn, €15.2bn) standing far below a previous $31bn all-time high.

Although the US is mired in its worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, the IPO market has proved attractive in recent months. Indeed, at $60bn in 2020 thus far, US listings are set for their largest dollar amount in recent years.

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