Airbnb puts stock market launch back on the table

Airbnb logo on a smartphone with stock market prices in the background.

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Airbnb has announced plans to go public over concerns about the impact of the coronavirus ease.

The short-term lease platform had previously planned an initial public offering (IPO) for the beginning of this year, but it appeared to be on hold.

Airbnb is now moving forward after filing confidential registration documents with US market regulators.

If the stock exchange goes ahead this year, it would be one of the biggest share sales of 2020.

The vacation rental provider joins a number of companies looking to go public in the coming months in a wave of renewed investor confidence.

US equity markets have risen in recent months, with the benchmark S&P 500 index hitting a record high this week.

Many analysts have predicted a rapid economic recovery following the major disruption caused by the coronavirus lockdowns.

Shares of online travel agency Booking Holdings have rebounded about 14% over the past three months, although they remain down over the year.

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Multimedia captionCoronavirus: US singer stuck in the UK broadcasts concerts in the Airbnb room

Airbnb hasn’t provided further details on the timing of the stock market debut or how much money it hopes to raise.

In April, Airbnb raised $ 2 billion (£ 1.5 billion) from investors, who valued it at $ 18 billion. This figure was well below the $ 26 billion the company cited as an internal valuation in early March and is likely to reflect the impact of the pandemic on business.

Airbnb was hit hard by travel restrictions and in May announced it would lose 25% of its staff.

The company also said it will scale back or stop new initiatives, such as investments in hotels, resorts and luxury flights.

When the job cuts were announced, CEO Brian Chesky said it wasn’t clear when the trip would return or what it would be like when it would be.

“Even though we know Airbnb’s business will fully recover, the changes it will undergo are not temporary or short-lived,” he said.

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