LINE may revisit IPO plans

LINE renews IPO application but may not list this year

02 APR 2015

The maker of Japan’s most popular messaging app Line has renewed its IPO application on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, which expired at the end of Japan’s fiscal year on March 31, but the company is unlikely to go public in the near future, a spokesperson told the Wall Street Journal. 

The company had wanted to launch an IPO last year but in September it was reported that it had decided against the move.

A spokesperson for parent company Naver said at the time that although the company considered an IPO “as one overseas strategy,” it wasn’t currently the right time for such a move, as the service “is showing fast and solid growth”.

Sources had said back then that the IPO would have valued LINE Corp at around $9.2 billion. Today’s new reports suggest a valuation of around $8 billion, as well as rumours of a separate New York listing.

Line has around 65 apps with 800 million downloads under its banner in addition to its core messaging app, which has 181 million monthly active users, and is working hard in its efforts to be a “Life platform”, Jeanie Han, CEO of LINE Euro-Americas, told Mobile World Live last month.

The company has brought messaging, games, stickers and the ability to pay bills via LINE Pay into one place, with the mission to make a users’ life easier and become “the only app you need”.

In February, LINE set up an investment fund worth around $42 million “as part of efforts to expand its Life platform business”.

It reported sales of JPY86.3 billion ($722 million) in its latest fiscal year.

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Saleha Riaz

Saleha joined Mobile World Live in October 2014 as a reporter and works across all e-newsletters - creating content, writing blogs and reports as well as conducting feature interviews...More

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