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Japanese messaging app Line to list shares for $1.05 billion

Japanese Messaging App Line To File For IPO To Tokyo Stock Exchange Photograph: (Reuters)

Reuters Tokyo Jun 11, 2016, 09.01 AM (IST)

Japanese messaging app operator Line Corporation plans to list shares worth as much as $1.05 billion in Tokyo and New York next month in what would be Japan's biggest initial public offering (IPO) this year.

The Tokyo-based firm will sell 13 million new shares in Japan and 22 million shares overseas for an indicative price of 2,800 Yen each.

That will value the entire company at 588 billion Yen ($5.5 billion).

Line is currently 100 per cent owned by South Korea's largest web portal operator, Naver Corp, which may offer as many as 5.25 million existing shares in the event of excessive demand.

Altogether, as many as 40.25 million shares will be sold, valuing the IPO at as much as 112.7 billion Yen.

Line said it plans to use the proceeds for strategic investments, including global mergers and acquisitions, and to repay debt.

Line launched its messaging app in 2011 under the name NHN Japan as a communication tool prompted by the chaotic aftermath of a devastating earthquake and tsunami in March that year. It rebranded to Line in 2013.

Its IPO would be the largest in Japan since the $12 billion partial privatisation of Japan Post and its bank and insurance divisions in November.

Line has hired Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan and Nomura to manage the IPO.

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