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Morgan Stanley Forfeits Role in WeWork IPO After Losing Lead

  • Relationship grew strained after bank balked on debt financing
  • IPO expected to raise $3.5 billion, second only to Uber in ’19
WeWork location in New York.

WeWork location in New York.

Photographer: Katelyn Perry via WeWork 

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Morgan Stanley famously nabbed this year’s largest initial public offering, thanks partly to its top technology banker’s moonlighting job as an Uber driver. But the firm is nowhere to be found on what’s shaping up to be the year’s second-biggest IPO, WeWork.

Morgan Stanley stepped back from a lesser role in the deal after WeWork rejected its pitch to be the top underwriter, according to people with knowledge of the matter. The relationship became strained when the bank wouldn’t extend as much debt financing as WeWork was seeking from key lenders, the people said, asking not to be identified discussing non-public information.