News Column

Line mulling IPO on Japan, U.S. bourses this year: sources

June 3, 2014

Smartphone messaging application operator Line Corp. is considering initial public offerings on bourses in Japan and the United States this year to raise funds and accelerate its overseas business, sources close to the matter said Tuesday.

According to the sources, Line, a Tokyo-based subsidiary of South Korea'sNaver Corp., is considering listing on the Tokyo Stock Exchange as well as the New York Stock Exchange or Nasdaq, as it plans to boost its presence also in the United States where the number of users is expected to expand.

Line's market capitalization could be as much as 1 trillion yen as it rapidly expanded its business by attracting over 430 million users worldwide for its application, which offers free messaging and voice call services for smartphones, some analysts said.

Although Line is widely known in Asian countries, boosting the number of users in Europe and the United States has been a challenge for the company faced with intense competition among similar application operators there.

The company's predecessor, Hangame Japan Corp., was established in 2000. It started its Line application service in June 2011 and changed its name to Line Corp. last year.

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Source: Japan Economic Newswire

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