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Airbnb sets stage for blockbuster listing with confidential IPO filing

Short-term home rental company Airbnb on Wednesday confidentially filed for an initial public offering with the Securities and Exchange Commission, setting the stage for one of the marquee stock market debuts of the year.

The number of shares to be offered and the price range for the IPO have not yet been determined, the company said.

“The initial public offering is expected to take place after the SEC completes its review process, subject to market and other conditions,” Airbnb added.

Reuters reported in October Airbnb was close to hiring Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs as joint lead advisers on its IPO, after the company announced plans to go public in 2020.

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 to postpone their travel plans.

The collapse of its core home-rental business prompted Airbnb to suspend marketing activities for the year and cut about 25 percent of its workforce.

However, in a sign of an early recovery, the San Francisco-based startup said in July guests had booked more than 1 million nights in a single day for the first time since March 3.

Airbnb’s decision to go public also comes at a time when US capital markets are in the middle of a stunning recovery, with 2020 already being one of the best years for public market debuts in decades.

In April, the company raised $2 billion in two rounds of debt from investors.

One of the funding rounds included warrants that can be exercised at an $18 billion valuation, well below the $26 billion Airbnb cited as an internal valuation in early March.