Soho House owners consider going private

Soho House private

[Credit: Soho House Barcelona]

Worldwide: Membership club Soho House has revealed it could become private in the same statement which “fundamentally rejects” a report released by GlassHouse Research that claimed the business was worthless.

The report, released by GlassHouse Research last week, compared Soho House to the bankrupt coworking brand WeWork. A “broken business model and terrible accounting” were cited as reasons for why Soho House had “never [been] profitable in its 28-year history”.

The global expansion of Soho House was also said to have adverse effects on the member experience such as “overcrowding concerns” and a “decline in service quality”.

In December 2023, founder Nick Jones announced a freeze on new members in London, New York and Los Angeles. The company said it would only accept new members in locations where it has capacity. 

Days after the report was published, Soho House issued a statement claiming its content had “factual inaccuracies, analytical errors, and false and misleading statements”. The company also said it had not been contacted prior to the report’s release. 

On 6 March 2024, Soho House will issue full year guidance for the year ahead that will “demonstrate the expectation for continued growth in membership, revenues and adjusted EBITDA, as well as positive cash flows from operating activities”. A $50 million share repurchase program has also been approved.

In the same statement, Soho House suggested that it could become a private company in the autumn following an internal review. A special committee of the board was formed in 2023 to evaluate “certain strategic transactions” however there are “no assurances” that the review would result in transaction. American retail billionaire Ron Burkle is the controlling shareholder of Soho House.

The company went public in 2021 at a listing price of $14. Its share price has since fallen around 60 per cent.

In 2022, Jones stepped down from his role as CEO and promoted Andrew Carnie to lead the company. According to its website, the group operates 41 properties worldwide with four “coming soon”.

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