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AIRBNB FILES FOR IPO AS SHORT-TERM HOME RENTAL MARKET RISES

Short-term home rental company Airbnb Inc. said on Wednesday it filed confidentially for an initial public offering with US regulators, setting the stage for one of 2020’s marquee US stock market debuts, Anirban Sen and Joshua Franklin reported for Reuters on August 20, 2020.

The move underscores a rebound in parts of the travel industry, which was battered this year by restrictions and shutdowns due to the COVID-19 pandemic. San Francisco-based Airbnb said in July that customers had booked more than 1 million nights in a single day for the first time since March 3, in part as US travelers shy away from hotels and prefer to drive to local vacation rentals.


Shares of US online travel agency Booking Holdings Inc. have rebounded around 14% in the past three months but are still down for the year. Companies can confidentially submit an IPO registration with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. If Airbnb moves forward with the IPO, the filing would be made public closer to the time of the listing. The number of shares Airbnb will sell and the valuation it will seek has yet to be determined, Airbnb said in a statement.


The collapse of Airbnb’s core home-rental business due to the COVID-19 pandemic had prompted Airbnb to suspend marketing activities for the year and cut about 25% of its workforce. The company in April also raised $2 billion in debt from investors, which valued it at $18 billion, well below the $26 billion Airbnb cited as an internal valuation in early March.


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