Mobile Messenger Line Seeking A Dual Listing in Tokyo and New York

Line Corp. is planning to go public in Tokyo and New York in July, which will help Japan’s messaging-app operator raise more than 113 billion yen ($1 billion) and value the company at about $5 billion.

The company will offer 35 million new and existing shares. 13 million new shares will be offered to the public in Japan, while another 22 million new shares are offered in New York. An additional 5.25 million shares could be sold through a green shoe option, the Tokyo-based company said.

The Tokyo Stock Exchange and the New York Stock Exchange both approve Line’s IPO. The company will be listed in Japan on July 15 and listed in US on July 14. The price range will be set on June 27, and the final price on July 11, Line said. 

“Made the decision to go public in both Japan and the United States to further enhance its strong position in Asia and to continue a more active global expansion,” the company said Friday.

Line initially submitted application for IPO in 2014. At that time the company was valued at more than $10 billion. But the company postponed the offering, as it wanted to wait for a better global market conditions. It decided to raise fund now because the company faces more competitions from Tencent Holdings Ltd.’s WeChat and Facebook Inc.’s Messenger and WhatsApp.

Facebook’s services have 2 billion monthly active users and Chinese message app also has 762 million, While Line only has 218 million monthly active users. China WeChat now seems a better app than Line and it provides more service to customers. People not only use WeChat to communicate with friends but also use it to order food, pay utility bills and even invest in financial products.

“Line faces a challenging battle against their global rivals,” said Yasuhide Yajima, chief economist at NLI Research Institute. “The dual-listing in the U.S. and their home-market could help Line to strengthen their brand, particularly in the States, but it would still be a tough race with the existing players there.”

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