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Alibaba, Softbank in talks to invest in Line-S.Korean newspaper
July 30, 2014 / 11:26 PM / 3 years ago

Alibaba, Softbank in talks to invest in Line-S.Korean newspaper

SEOUL, July 31 (Reuters) - Alibaba Group Holding Ltd and SoftBank Corp are in talks to invest in or enter a partnership with Japan-based messenger app Line Corp, South Korean newspaper Chosun Ilbo reported.

However, a source with direct knowledge of the situation told Reuters that Line’s parent company, South Korea-based Naver Corp, was not considering a stake sale to either of the two.

The newspaper, citing an unnamed high-ranking source in Naver, said Softbank and Alibaba each hope to acquire about a 30 percent stake in Line.

A Naver spokesman told Reuters that it would address the matter during its earnings conference call later on Thursday morning and declined to elaborate.

Line in February denied a media report that it was in talks to sell a stake to SoftBank.

Line is considering an IPO in Tokyo and the United States.

Japan-based SoftBank and China-based Alibaba could not immediately be reached by email before business hours on Thursday. (Reporting by Joyce Lee and Se Young Lee; Editing by Tony Munroe and Richard Pullin)

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