Japan-based LINE Corporation, the online chat app service affiliated with South Korea’s web portal giant Naver Corporation, will go public both on the Tokyo Stock Exchange and the New York Stock Exchange next month.
On Friday, authorities in the two markets approved LINE’s stock listing applications, allowing the company’s stock trading from mid-July.
This will be the first simultaneous IPOs by a Japanese company involving the NYSE. With its market capitalization estimated to reach roughly 600 billion yen ($5.6 billion), LINE’s IPO would be bigger than any technology stock offers made in the U.S. Japan, or any parts of the world so far this year. Nomura Securities and Morgan Stanley are leading the IPOs.
LINE’s chat app is highly popular in Japan and Southeast Asia with more than 200 million active users in total. The number of accumulated users already surpassed 1 billion.
The company generates about one third of its revenue from games, cartoons and other digital content. Advertising brings in about 30 percent, with communications business, including digital stickers for chat, about 20 percent.
The company expects to raise roughly 100 billion yen from the dual IPOs. Market watchers believe LINE will use proceeds to expand its operations in Southeast Asia, diversifying its service into payment and logistics.
It also aims to make inroads into North America, where it may seek M&A opportunities to overcome market saturation.
By Hwang Hyung-gyu and Lee Kyung-jin
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business News Korea & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]