Bloomberg News reports that Line is considering listing on the Tokyo Stock Exchange and either the New York Stock Exchange or Nasdaq, according to the people, who asked not to be named as the matter is private.
The operator of Japan’s most popular mobile messaging application may have a market value of more than $9.8bn, the people said. The IPO would follow Facebook’s plans to buy WhatsApp for as much as $19bn and Rakuten’s $900m purchase of Viber Media Ltd. as mobile users increasingly turn to app providers to send instant messages and make phone calls.
'A valuation of $10bn or even $20bn would be no surprise for Line, given Facebook’s massive WhatsApp deal', Yasuhide Yajima, chief economist at NLI Research Institute in Tokyo, said by phone. 'Line will need to spend on research and development and mergers after going public, in order to create more services and maintain its value'.
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