Naver will list its mobile messaging service Line on the U.S. and Japanese stock markets in July, bringing around W770 billion worth of stock option bonuses for staff (US$1=W1,168).
Naver in a board meeting on Friday decided to pursue an initial public offering of Line on both the New York and Tokyo stock exchanges next month.
The opening price has been set at 2,800 yen (W30,244) per share, while total stock market capitalization is estimated at W6.35 trillion. Naver plans to issue 35 million new shares and raise W1.59 trillion by selling the new stock.
The Internet portal has issued stock options to employees since 2012. Workers own around 25.57 million stocks with options, which amounts to around W770 billion at W30,244 per share.
Naver did not reveal how many of the 1,114 employees own stock options and how much the shares will be valued at. But industry watchers believe they were given primarily to staff who were involved in launching the Line mobile app in Japan.
Stock options were also apparently given as an incentive to experienced workers poached from other companies.
Hong Si-wan, Seoul