Sat, Aug 29, 2015 - Page 15 News List

Line says it is still considering IPO


Popular Japanese messaging app Line Corp said yesterday that it was still considering plans for an initial public offering (IPO), after a report said it had shelved the sale for a second year in a row.

Line’s owner, South Korean Internet firm Naver Corp, was preparing an IPO for the company last year, but reportedly postponed it to focus on the messaging app’s expansion.

It was later reported that Line shares could start trading in Japan — and possibly New York — as early as this summer in a deal that could value it at more than US$8 billion.

However, the Wall Street Journal on Thursday cited unnamed sources as saying that Line had delayed the plan again until at least next year.

Responding to the report, Tokyo-based Line said it was still mulling a sale.

“Our company has never canceled plans for an IPO — we’re still in the review process,” a spokeswoman said.

“As far as the timing is concerned, we will look at the situation with global markets and our firm’s own performance in deciding when to go ahead with a sale,” she said.

The sale plan last year was put off due to disagreements between Line and its parent company over details of the listing, local media said.

More recently, global markets have been hit by a wave of volatility over fears about a slowdown in China and the impact on the world economy.

Line, a must-have app for Japanese smartphone owners, combines attributes from Facebook, Skype and WhatsApp. The app has a strong presence in Asian markets such as Taiwan, Thailand and Indonesia, as well as some Spanish-speaking areas, including Spain and Mexico.

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