Messaging app Line mulls U.S., Japan IPO, report says

By Reuters

Jun 04, 2014 08:19 AM EDT

(Reuters) - The popular messaging app, Line, owned by Asia's Naver Corp, is preparing an initial public offering in the United States and Tokyo as soon as November, Bloomberg reported Tuesday, citing people who were familiar with the matter.

The company was working on the IPO with Morgan Stanley and Nomura Holdings, the report said.

The app, popular in Japan and one of the world's largest with some 450 million users, could command a valuation of more than $10 billion, the sources were cited as saying.

Line has not yet decided on a stock exchange, the size of an IPO or which investment bankswould underwrite the offering, Bloomberg said.

Naver and Line were not available for comment outside of Asian business hours. Officials atMorgan Stanley and Nomura were not immediately available for comment.

Investor interest in mobile messaging apps has grown in the wake of Facebook's record $19 billion acquisition of WhatsApp, which pushed up industry valuations and cast a spotlight on the rapidly expanding market.

(Reporting by San Francisco newsroom; Editing by Bernadette Baum)

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