Line applies for IPO in Japan, may do so in US

Korean search portal Naver’s Japanese subsidiary Line has applied for an initial public offering (IPO) on the Tokyo Stock Exchange and may do so in the US as well, reports ZDNet Korea’s Lim Yu-kyung.
Written by ZDNet Staff, Contributor

A spokesman for Naver, which commands a majority share of the search market in Korea, confirmed it sent the application and said it was considering IPOs either in Japan or the US for its mobile messenger subsidiary, Line.

The spokesman told ZDNet Korea that filings to the Tokyo Stock Exchange were part of that plan but said nothing was finalized yet.

“Nothing is specifically finalized on our main subsidiary Line's IPO plan, including whether we would go-ahead with the offering, what exchange we plan to apply for, [or] at what time period we will initiate the IPO,” said the spokesman.

“We will make a public statement when our plans are finalized or within this month,” he added.

Bloomberg earlier reported that Line’s IPO would be valued at 1 trillion yen (US$9.85 billion) and that the company filed the application in early July. Naver and Line representatives in Korea initially denied the story as false.

Korean analysts said that Line’s IPO in Japan will boost its parent Naver’s market value as well if it commences.

Naver is the provider of its namesake search portal in Korea. Line, which provides its eponymous mobile messaging app, has over 470 million global subscribers as of June with most of them in Asia.

Source: ZDNet Korea (zdnet.co.kr)

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