Messaging app operator popular in Japan, Line Corp, plans double listing in Tokyo and New York in July that could raise more than $900 million and value the company at $5.50 billion. Bobbi Rebell reports.
Messaging-app operator Line Corp. is planning a dual listing in Tokyo and on the New York Stock Exchange in July. The IPO could raise more than $900 million and value the five-year-old company at more than $5 billion. Line - owned by South Korean's Naver Corp. - runs Japan's most popular mobile messaging app with 218 million monthly active users. In addition to free voice calls and messaging, Line makes money selling digital stamps, games, and advertisements and recently started offering streaming music and cab hailing services. It primarily competes with Facebook's Messanger and WhatsApp, and Tencent's WeChat. Max Wolff, chief economist at Manhattan Venture Partners says, going public in New York and Tokyo is a good idea. (SOUNDBITE) MAX WOLFF, CHIEF ECONOMIST, MANHATTAN VENTURE PARTNERS, (ENGLISH) SAYING: "The indicated range, trying to raise about a billion dollars selling about twenty percent of the company, because this is what they're doing, strikes me as reasonable. It's not super aggressive, but it still prices somewhat aggressively. It'll be an important test too, because you gotta remember, this is about to be the biggest tech IPO of 2016, and the first sizable IPO of any type of its sort in the U.S., even though it is not a U.S. company." Wolff says, by listing in New York, Line is showing that they have global ambitions. He adds that there is still room in the messenger app space for new players.