Naver may do IPO for its super-popular Line

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Naver may do IPO for its super-popular Line

Naver Corp. said its subsidiary Line, which operates a popular mobile messaging app, is considering listing its shares in Tokyo or New York.

Naver, Korea’s largest Internet company, said Wednesday that Line could sell shares in an initial public offering in both Japan and the U.S.

The statement was made in a regulatory filing.

The move highlights the growth of Asian mobile messaging apps. The apps have been a threat to more established Internet companies, which have responded by taking a stake in the upstart industry through acquisitions.

As of last month, Line had more than 450 million users. It has tens of millions of users in Japan, Thailand, Indonesia and Spain.

If listed, Line’s market capitalization will be at least 23 trillion won ($22.2 billion), according to Lee Chang-young, an analyst at Tongyang Securities. That would be the same level as the market cap of Twitter.

Lee said the number of monthly average users at Line is growing faster than that of Facebook or Twitter.

Other mobile messaging apps have also been involved in big deals. Facebook paid $19 billion to acquire WhatsApp. AP

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