WeWork rival IWG keeps switch to US accounting standards under review as it mulls New York listing

Mark Dixon, IWG CEO

One of WeWork’s biggest rivals has said it continues to review a potential switch to US accounting standards in the latest sign that a listing in New York is on the cards.

UK-based serviced office business IWG said adopting US GAAP “remains under evaluation”, adding that a final decision would be taken “in the coming months” as the firm weighs whether to ditch its London-listing in search of higher valuations in the US.

The firm, which has more than 4,000 office locations worldwide, has already begun reporting its results in US dollars instead of pound sterling.

Companies worth about £100 billion are on the way out of the London Stock Exchange so far this year, either by being bought up or via moving the main home for their shares overseas, and experts fear there is much more to come.

Research by the Evening Standard and investment bank Peel Hunt shows that companies worth over £26 billion have already agreed to be sold in 2024, to other listed firms or private equity.

That comes alongside a combined value of £38 billion for firms shifting their main listing abroad. Anglo American has rejected the biggest takeover offer so far, saying BHP’s £31 billion bid “undervalued” the firm and was “opportunistic”.

Charles Hall, Peel Hunt’s head of research, said: “There are 21 companies in a bid process with 12 of them in the FTSE 350.”

He warned: “We are rapidly exporting some of our best growth companies, with Darktrace going to US private equity. It really demonstrates the dire state of the London market and the urgency of measures to restore competitiveness and fund flow, including removing stamp duty, pension reform and introducing the British ISA.”

IWG today confirmed its earnings guidance would be in line with expectations, adding it had a a pipeline of 138,000 rooms signed but not yet opened.

The firm said system-wide revenue grew 2 per cent year-on-year to £1.04bn, while group revenue levelled out at £912m. Net debt also shrunk marginally from £862m to £799m.