Bloomberg News on how the company behind Japan’s LINE instant messaging service is prepping for an IPO in both Tokyo and New York:
The Tokyo-based company aims to sell shares around September to avoid competing for investors with state-owned Japan Post, the people said, asking not to be named as the information is private. The government has said it will raise as much as 2 trillion yen ($16.5 billion) from a Japan Post listing later in the year. Line has resumed work with Morgan Stanley and Nomura Holdings Inc. on plans for its offering, which could value it at more than 1 trillion yen, the people said.
Line, controlled by South Korean search portal Naver Corp., is customizing its software as it seeks to challenge Facebook Inc.’s WhatsApp service outside Asia. The company, which makes money by asking smartphone users to pay for teddy bear icons and games, has 205 million monthly active users, it said in a statement last month.
After doing the math, 1 trillion JPY is equivalent to approximately $8.2 billion USD at today’s exchange rate.
To put that into context, Facebook acquired WhatsApp for $19 billion in February 2014.