No surprise here, but WeWork shelved its IPO “to focus on our core business.” That means new CEOs Artie Minson and Sebastian Gunningham are going to slow the company’s growth, and reduce its $700 million quarterly burn rate. Minson and Gunningham say they still “have every intention” to revisit the IPO in the future. But it won’t ever again get anywhere close to the $47 billion mark.
Meanwhile, a group of venture capital types, including Bill Gurley and Michael Moritz, are meeting in Silicon Valley today to explore whether it’s time–or past time–to end the elaborate IPO process altogether, in favor of direct listing. Why pay hundreds of millions to investment bankers if a few lines of computer code can do the job just as well? That could be an even bigger threat to Wall Street than Elizabeth Warren.
And Forever 21’s bankruptcy filing adds its name to the growing list of retailers that have bitten the dust this year, including Barney’s, Payless Shoes, Gymboree, Sugarfina, Innovative Mattress Solutions and more. In Forever 21’s case, “fast fashion” these days seems to refer to how quickly fickle consumers abandon once popular brands.
More news below.
A bunch of drug companies that aren’t Purdue—including J&J, Allergan, Teva, Mallinckrodt and Endo—are reportedly considering trying to wrap up their own opioid-related litigations by participating in Purdue’s bankruptcy. As the Wall Street Journal explains: “The mechanism, if successful, would allow the companies to contribute money into a trust set up through the bankruptcy in exchange for a complete release from liability.” WSJ
Chris Collins has quit as a congressman, ahead of a likely guilty plea on insider-trading charges today. The New York Republican’s seat will probably stay with the GOP. Collins was charged in August last year with securities fraud, wire fraud and making false statements to FBI agents, in relation to his investment in Australian biotech company Innate Immunotherapeutics. Politico
Credit Suisse COO Pierre-Olivier Bouee has taken the fall for a massive corporate spying scandal that involved the trailing of former wealth-management chief Iqbal Khan. The bank has exonerated CEO Tidjane Thiam. Meanwhile, a contractor who helped retain the investigators to spy on Khan reportedly killed himself last week. Guardian
The EU’s top court has ruled that companies can’t use pre-ticked checkboxes to get people’s consent to being tracked via cookies places on their devices. Instead, people must actively give their consent in order for the cookies to be legal. The ruling came in a case involving a German lottery company called Planet49. Bloomberg
AROUND THE WATER COOLER
Some British manufacturers are again stockpiling, ahead of the possible no-deal Brexit that will take place at the end of this month. The latest IHS Markit PMI figures show the fifth month in a row of factory-activity contraction, but at a slowing pace, thanks to the stockpiling. This was last seen ahead of the last Brexit deadline, which was March 29. Reuters
The European Central Bank has committed to greater transparency about its foreign exchange interventions, in order to counter American claims that it is actively trying to devalue the euro. As Christiaan Hetzner explains: “The added transparency could also serve an important disciplinary function. Central banks operating in developed economies like the ECB rarely intervene directly to buy or sell their currency outside of a crisis, and any data suggesting Frankfurt resorted to such a measure would likely be interpreted as a warning sign by investors, as well as a signal to FX traders.” Fortune
Japan finally phased out pagers today. There were only 1,500 users left, mostly in medicine. Per the BBC: “On Sunday, a Tokyo funeral company set up a tent near a railway station, so people could lay flowers and pay their respects to the end of the pokeberu, or pocket bell. A photo of a pager displayed the message ‘1141064,’ Japanese pager code for ‘we love you.’” BBC
Mir Imran, the founder of Rani Therapeutics, told Fortune about how he caught the entrepreneurial bug as a kid, before moving from India to the U.S. and getting into security, bioengineering and venture capital. “I doubt I’ll ever retire because I’ll always have six to eight unfinished businesses,” he said. Fortune