LINE Dual Listing in NYC and Japan Debuts As 2016’s Biggest Technology IPO

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Line has made its long awaited debut on the New York Stock Exchange yesterday, reports CNBC.

The Japanese messaging app spiked 30% in market debut after opening at $42 per share in what appears to be the biggest tech IPO of this year. The company is owned by Naver, a South Korean Internet company, who offered 22 million shares on the New York Stock Exchange and 13 million on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. Shares are trading under the symbol ‘LN’.

Shares of the company jumped more than 30% valuing the company at more than $9 billion. The stock closed at $26.61.

The company was formed in 2011, and is currently the seventh most used messenger app in the world, with more than 35 apps for downloads. Stickers are a main source of revenue, contributing to more than $270 million in sales. Line’s most popular markets are Japan, Taiwan, Thailand and Indonesia.

Moving forward, Line will be focusing more on domestic growth rather than global expansion. The company will also be moving into taxi hailing and music streaming to compete with Facebook and WeChat. Line sees an opportunity in the expansion of services as more customers become accustomed to a one-stop-shop platform.

Line is the fifth tech company to go public this year. Since 2015, 14 companies have gone public.

The entire IPO market has slowed down this year. Last month, 31 companies had gone public in the US, down from 69 in Q1 of 2015.

Line debuts as 2016's biggest tech IPO


Dual IPO Listing: Japan

According to Bloomberg, Line debuted on the Tokyo Stock Exchange today, and opened at $46 (4,900 yen), compared to its IPO price of $31 (3,300 yen) giving it a valuation of approximately $9.5 (1 trillion yen). Yoshihiro Okumura, GM at Chiba-Gin Asset Management Co, comments,

As New York debuted strongly, we’re seeing it being bought here too. A lot of the buying is coming from retail investors.

Line’s Chief Financial Officier, In-Joon Hwang said in an interview with Bloomberg that the company plans to use money for any investment opportunity to strengthen existing business in Line’s key makets, Japan, Taiwan, Thailand and Indonesia.

Update at close of trading: Line ended slightly down at the close of New York trading, valued at $8.7 billion.

Versions of this appeared in CNBC and Bloomberg on July 14 & 15. Read the full versions here and here.