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Japan messaging app Line files for IPO valuing firm at over $10 billion: source


By Emi Emoto and Sophie Knight TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese messaging app operator Line Corp applied for an initial public offering (IPO) that is likely to value the company at over 1 trillion yen ($9.85 billion) around two weeks ago at the Tokyo Stock Exchange, a person with knowledge of the matter said on Tuesday. Line, owned by South Korea’s Naver Corp, has hired Nomura Holdings Inc and Morgan Stanley to manage the IPO in Tokyo and is also considering listing in New York, the person said. An IPO would come amid a land-grab in the messaging app space, with Whatsapp recently snapped up by Facebook Inc for $19 billion and Viber bought by online retailer Rakuten Inc for $900 million. Another person familiar with the IPO plans said parent Naver is likely to favour the sale of preferred shares to prevent a third party taking control of Line, whereas Line would prefer to sell ordinary shares to increase the proportion of Japanese retail investors.

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MONDAY, MARCH 19, 2018



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