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

Line which is owned by South Korea’s Naver Corp (035420.KS) will listed both on the New York and Tokyo stock markets this week. On Monday the messaging app indicated that it could raise more than $1.0 million and become the world’s biggest tech listing for this year. The company price its initial public offering at the top of its marketed range. Japanese messaging app set its IPO price at 3,300 yen per share ($32 USD) with its range of 2,900-3,300 yen according to a filing with Japan’s finance ministry.

According to PHYS.org, the initial public offering will raise the company 115.5 billion yen ($1.14 billion USD) through the sale of 35 million shares. Trading for Line starts in New York on Thursday and in Tokyo on Friday. Bloomberg News reported that the sale, valuing the firm at $6.9 billion, is the biggest technology IPO this year. They further noted that it’s the largest currently in Tokyo. 

Line stated in a news release that it took into consideration the demand that the shares price was higher than they previously believe it would be worth. According to the Wall Street Journal, Line had delayed creating its IPO price in late June due to the global markets affects from Brexit. . The company had ended up raising its target range which show that investors are keen on the IPO despite the Brexit vote affecting the market. The company had set its shares initially at a price of 2,800 yen.

The Wall Street Journal further noted that 13 million new shares of Line will be in the first section of Tokyo Stock Exchange and 22 million will go to the New York Stock Exchange. The company will also sell an additional 5.25 million shares through a “green-shoe” option which allows the issuance of additional shares if there is a exceptional demand.

Users of the app can make free calls, send instant messages and post photos or videos. The app was created in the aftermath of Japan’s 2011 earthquake and tsunami to help with downed communications. According to Yahoo Finance, Line’s revenue comes from the games and sales of its emojis and electronic stickers. The listing will be managed by Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan and Nomura.

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