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Airbnb files confidentially for IPO with travel rebounding

An ad for Airbnb Inc. The company said it has filed to go public in a long-awaited listing.
Airbnb Inc. said it has filed to go public in a long-awaited listing.
(Airbnb)

Airbnb Inc. said it has filed to go public in a long-awaited listing as the company emerges from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The San Francisco company said in a statement Wednesday that it submitted its filing for an initial public offering of stock confidentially to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The size and price range for the offering haven’t been set yet, the company said.

The comeback for travel after the first peak of the pandemic was faster than expected and helped keep Airbnb’s plans for a public market debut on track. The company had planned to file with the SEC on March 31 but was waylaid by the pandemic-related market turmoil, leading to speculation that the listing would be shelved until next year, Bloomberg News has reported.

Airbnb was valued at $31 billion at its peak in a 2017 private fundraising round, though $2 billion in debt issuance to shore up its finances this year has significantly reduced that valuation. In a round of debt and equity securities in April that included Silver Lake and Sixth Street Partners, the warrants valued the company at $18 billion, Bloomberg reported.

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Airbnb had been leaning toward a direct listing in which it wouldn’t raise money by selling new shares as it would in a traditional IPO. Instead, its investors could have put their shares on the market without waiting for a lock-up period.

As the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the company was reevaluating whether it should instead pursue an IPO to raise cash for the business, people familiar with the matter said in March.


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