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LINE renews IPO application although won't list imminently

LINE renews IPO application although won't list imminently

LINE has appointed a new CEO ahead of a possible IPO set for later in 2015.

The Japan-based messaging and gaming service postponed its initial public offering in 2014 to focus instead on international expansion.

However, the Wall Street Journal has reported that under new leadership LINE has renewed its paperwork for an IPO on the Tokyo stock exchange.

Indeed, after a string of partnerships with the likes of GREE, and Tencent, at the end of 2014 LINE boasted 181 million MAUs.

Crossing the line

The company’s rate of expansion was further demonstrated by its FY14 Q3 financials, which saw LINE earn $210 million in revenue – up 83 percent year-on-year and mainly generated from integration with mobile games.

Bolstered by the success of Disney Tsum Tsum (which has earned $300 million in revenue since its July 2014 launch), some have suggested that new CEO Takeshi Idezawa may be preparing to launch a new IPO once more.

However, Idezawa told the Wall Street Journal that LINE is still planning to grow its overseas business before listing on the stock market, with a spokeswoman for its South Korean parent company reaffirming the sentiment yesterday.

Instead then, the move to refile its paperwork doesn't look like preparation for an imminent IPO, but a way to keep the option open.

Waiting to list for the sake of growth has so far proved fruitful, but the fact remains that an IPO would accelerate the company’s expansion further.


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