Japanese messaging app Line raises over $1bn in IPO

By : |July 11, 2016 0

Japan-based messaging app operator Line on Monday priced its dual initial public offering in New York and Tokyo at the top end of its range due to strong demand, raising 115.5 billion yen ($1.14 billion).
At ¥3,300 per share, Line starts trading in New York on Thursday and in Tokyo on Friday in what is expected to be the largest technology listing so far this year.

The Japanese corporation, in a news release, said that it took into consideration how demand substantially exceeded the shares it plans to offer in setting its price, which came at the top end of the ¥2,900 to ¥3,300 target range it previously set.

CIOL Japanese messaging app Line raises more than $1 Billion in IPO



Line, owned by South Korea’s Naver had delayed establishing its IPO price range in late June as global markets reeled under the impact of the U.K.’s vote to leave the European Union. But the company subsequently raised its target range, indicating that investors are keen on the IPO despite recent market turmoil following the Brexit vote. Line initially had set an indicative price of ¥2,800 for its shares.

Line is offering 13 million new shares in the first section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange and 22 million shares on the New York Stock Exchange. A further 5.25 million shares will be sold through a “green-shoe” option, which allows for the issuance of additional shares if there is exceptional demand.

The offering could be valued at up to ¥133 billion if all additional shares are sold. Line’s offering would be the biggest in Tokyo since Japan Post made its long-awaited trading debut in November with a share sale that topped $11.5 billion.

The popular app lets users make free calls, send instant messages, and post photos or short videos, along with a host of other paid services.It combines attributes from Facebook, Skype, and WhatsApp, with games and a mobile payment service also on offer.

Line’s messaging service was launched in 2011 after the quake-tsunami tragedy damaged Japan’s telecoms infrastructure nationwide, forcing people to use online resources to communicate.

Line currently has 218 million monthly active users, with two-thirds of them in its core markets of Japan, Taiwan, Thailand and Indonesia

By listing in both Tokyo and New York, Line hopes to secure funds to double down on its core Asian markets while raising its overseas name recognition at a time when the space for chat apps is getting saturated.

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