Japan’s Line Prices IPO at Top of the Range, May Raise Up to $1.3 Billion

Japan's Line Prices IPO at Top of the Range, May Raise Up to $1.3 Billion

Japanese messaging app firm Line Corp priced its initial public offering at the top of its marketed range, putting it on track to raise as much as $1.3 billion (roughly Rs. 8,722 crores) and reflecting robust appetite for the world’s biggest tech listing this year.

Line set the IPO price at JPY 3,300 per share, compared with its book-building range of JPY 2,900-3,300, a filing with Japan’s finance ministry showed on Monday.

It had initially set the range at JPY 2,700-3,200 but bumped it up last week amid buoyant demand.

Line, owned by South Korea’s Naver Corp, is set for a dual New York and Tokyo listing this week, raising funds and boosting its profile to ratchet up its global expansion outside its key markets of Japan and Southeast Asia.

“This is seen as an event by many domestic retail investors. I think the price will rise in the short term,” said Mitsushige Akino, executive officer at Ichiyoshi Asset Management.

But he added that investors will also need to look at whether the company increases profits in the long term.

Including an overallotment arrangement, Line is selling up to JPY 132.8 billion ($1.3 billion) of shares. The IPO pricing values the company at JPY 693 billion ($6.9 billion).

Line’s messaging app was launched in the aftermath of Japan’s 2011 earthquake and tsunami to overcome downed communications, growing unexpectedly to become the country’s dominant mobile messaging platform over the next few years.

The bulk of its revenue comes from games and sales of emojis and electronic stickers.

Line will debut on the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday and on the Tokyo Stock Exchange the following day.

Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan and Nomura are managing the listing.

© Thomson Reuters 2016

Tags: Apps, IPO, Japan, Line, Social
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