News Column

Messaging app Line looking to Tokyo for £5.7bn public offering

July 16, 2014


JAPANESE messaging app operator Line applied for an initial public offering (IPO) valued at over 1 trillion (5.74bn) around two weeks ago at the Tokyo Stock Exchange, a person with knowledge of the matter told Reuters yesterday.

Line, owned by South Korea'sNaver, hired Nomura and Morgan Stanley to manage the IPO in Tokyo and was also considering listing in New York, the source said.

An IPO would come amid a landgrab in the messaging app space, with WhatsApp recently snapped up by Facebook for $19bn (11bn) and Viber bought by online retailer Rakuten, owner, for $900m.

The Line messaging app has expanded rapidly overseas in Asia and America, claiming popularity with its games and oversized emoticons, called stickers. Global downloads had surpassed 480m, the company said. Line and Naver declined to comment.


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Source: City A.M. (UK)

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