Short-term home rental company Airbnb Inc is close to confidentially filing paperwork for an initial public offering (IPO) with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission later in August, the Wall Street Journal reported https://www.wsj.com/articles/airbnb-plans-to-file-confidentially-for-ipo-in-august-11597164041 on Tuesday.
Airbnb is preparing to potentially go public before the end of the year, the report said, citing sources familiar with the matter.
An Airbnb spokesman declined to comment.
Reuters had reported in October that Airbnb was close to hiring Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs Group Inc as joint lead advisers on its planned stock market flotation.
Airbnb last year announced plans to become a publicly listed company in 2020, making it one of the biggest names to pursue a stock market float this year.
The company’s plans to go public come at a time when its core home-rental business has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has forced millions of people across the world to postpone their travel plans. But the unicorn company has seen a rebound in rental bookings as people take getaways closer to home, rather than not travel at all.
Earlier this year, Airbnb raised $1 billion in funding from private equity firms Silver Lake and Sixth Street Partners.
If the 12-year-old company does go public, MarketWatch reports, it would enter a welcoming IPO market that has seen big offerings from the likes of insurance startup Lemonade Inc. (LMND), and music label Warner Music Group Inc. (WMG,) amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The Journal — which stressed that Airbnb’s timeline for a public offering could change — noted that the San Francisco-based company was recently valued at $18 billion, down from as high as $31 billion some three years ago.
According to the MarketWatch report, Morgan Stanley (MS) will lead the offering, and Goldman Sachs (GS), will also be involved, the Journal said. Trading could begin by the end of the year, the report added.