When WeWork Cos tried to go public two years ago in the US, it was an unmitigated disaster. The company was burning cash at a rate as high as $2bn (about R29bn) a year, and its erratic and egomaniacal CEO, Adam Neumann, had enriched himself by selling off stock while persuading private investors to value WeWork at an inflated $47bn.

Public investors balked at the price, the start-up was forced to pull its initial public offering, Neumann resigned, and thousands of employees lost their jobs, all in the span of a few months...

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