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Japan's smartphone app operator Line applies for IPO in U.S.: report

July 17, 2014

Japanese smartphone messaging application operator Line Corp. has confidentially filed for an initial public offering in the United States, Bloomberg News reported Thursday, citing people with knowledge of the matter.

The move comes after the Tokyo-based subsidiary of South Korea'sNaver Corp. applied for an IPO on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. The market capitalization of Line is expected to reach over 1 trillion yen.

Companies with less than $1 billion in revenue can submit filings privately to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission under the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act, which encourages smaller companies to go public, according to the report.

The scale of the listing and specific bourse has not been revealed, the report said, adding that U.S. financial firm Morgan Stanley is managing the U.S. listing.

Line, which has attracted nearly 500 million users worldwide for its free messaging and voice call services, is aiming to accelerate its overseas business expansion with the dual-listing in New York and Tokyo.

Line's sales from its smartphone messaging application surged to 14.6 billion yen in the January to March period, up more than threefold from a year earlier, thanks to rising subscriber numbers in Southeast Asia and South America.

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Source: Japan Economic Newswire

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