Popular Japanese mobile messaging system Line has priced its initial public offering at more than $1 billion.
The total IPO can amount to $1.3 billion, making Line’s IPO the biggest global tech deal since Chinese e-commerce site Alibaba raised more than $20 billion in September 2014.
The company on Thursday will offer 22 million shares of common stock under the symbol “LN” on the New York Stock Exchange — as American Depository Shares — and other exchanges priced at $32.84. In Japan, Line will offer 13 million shares that will begin trading Friday on the Tokyo Stock Exchange under the code “3938.”
Line is pricing its IPO at the top of its expected range, which had been 2,900 to 3,300 yen per share, starting at about $28. That range was an increase from its original plan to sell as much as 35 million shares at $26.30 a share, according to its original Securities and Exchange Commission filing.
Line, which is owned by South Korea’s Naver Corp., has a messaging app used by 675 million registered users, of which 218 million are monthly active users, primarily in Japan, Taiwan, Thailand and Indonesia. Its messaging app lets consumers sent text messages, photos and emojis over device data plans, rather than short messaging systems (SMS) sold by wireless carriers.
The IPO aims to help Line in its global expansion and growing competition with other apps such as Facebook’s Messenger app and WhatsApp service, Microsoft’s Skype and Tencent’s WeChat.
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SOURCE: USA Today, Mike Snider and Jon Swartz