In what could so far be the biggest initial public offering in the technology industry this year, Japanese messaging app Line priced its IPO at the top end of its range due to high demand, and is now expected to raise as much as 115.5 billion yen, or about $1.14 billion.
The pricing for the Line Corp.'s dual Japan-United States IPO was pegged at 3,300 yen per share, which is equivalent to just less than $33, after Line has initially set an indicative price of only 2,800 yen per share, or just less than $28 each.
The initial range for the IPO, which was between 2,700 yen and 3,200 yen, was increased last week due to high demand, up to 2,900 yen to 3,300 yen.
Line is now set for a dual listing in Tokyo and New York this week, as the company looks to grab a firmer hold in its core Asian markets while raising awareness of its brand overseas. The funds that Line will be raising through the IPO will be put in the company's expansion plans outside of its key markets of Japan and Southeast Asia.
Line is offering 13 million new shares through the Tokyo Stock Exchange's first section and 22 million shares through the New York Stock Exchange. The company will also be selling an additional 5.25 million shares through a green-shoe option, which will allow more shares to be issued in case of massive demand.
The IPO, if all the shares are sold, including the additional ones through the green-shoe option, will be valued at up to 133 billion yen, which is equivalent to $1.31 billion.
The messaging app, which is popular for its cute and expressive emoji-like stickers, is owned by Naver, an internet company based in South Korea. Line has reported a monthly active user base of 218 million from all over the world, with two-thirds of this figure coming from the counties of Japan, Thailand, Taiwan and Indonesia.
Line made revenues of $1 billion for 2015, which is the first time that the app raked in such a figure. However, it should be noted that the app is not profitable, with 90 percent of the company's revenue coming from Japan and more than 60 percent of its income coming from games. The stickers, which the app is known for, only make up one-fourth of Line's sales, which was equivalent to about $270 million last year.
Line was included in 2015's list of 50 smartest companies by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, coming in at 37th place.