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SoftBank Said to Seek Stake in Naverís Line Messaging Unit
SoftBank Corp. (9984) is seeking to buy a stake in Line Corp., the mobile-messaging service controlled by South Koreaís Naver Corp., people with knowledge of the matter said. Naver shares jumped.
Line has received at least one other offer for all or some of the company, prompting it to slow preparations for an initial public offering, said two of the people, asking not to be identified as the information is private. The Tokyo-based company, which has about 340 million users, may be worth as much as $14.9 billion, according to BNP Paribas SA estimates.
Japan's Line denies report of talks to sell stake to SoftBank
Japan-based Line Corp denied a media report it was in talks to sell a stake to SoftBank Corp - a report that comes after big acquisitions of rival messaging app firms have fanned speculation that it too may be up for grabs.
SoftBank's founder Masayoshi Son has held talks with Line about a purchase, Bloomberg News said, citing a person with knowledge of the matter. It added that Line had also received at least one other offer for all or some of the company, prompting it to slow preparations for an IPO.
Both Line and its South Korean parent company Naver Corp denied the report.