Gumi Inc., a Japanese developer of mobile games, plans an initial public offering as soon as this year that may value the company at about 100 billion yen ($1 billion), people with knowledge of the matter said.
The company plans to submit a listing application to the Tokyo bourse as soon as August and sell shares as early as December, the people said, asking not to be identified as the deliberations are private. Gumi is working with Nomura Holdings Inc. (8604) on the offering, according to the people.
Gumi, which makes role-playing games including “Brave Frontier” and “Genjuhime Monster Princess,” would add to the $6.7 billion companies raised through IPOs in Japan this year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. It’s seeking to list after Japan went from being the best performing major stock market in 2013 to the worst this year, the data show.
The company plans to list on the Tokyo Stock Exchange’s top board, known as the First Section, according to the people. The First Section records higher levels of trading by foreign investors and has stricter listing requirements, according to the bourse operator’s website. Japanese game developers Gree (3632) Inc., DeNA Co. (2432) and Colopl Inc. (3668) first listed on the Mothers market for smaller companies and later upgraded their listings to the First Section.
Gumi employs about 800 staff and has subsidiaries in South Korea, Singapore, China, France and the U.S., according to the company’s website. Its investors include Jafco Co. (8595), the nation’s biggest venture-capital firm, as well as Gree, Mitsubishi UFJ Capital Co. and Development Bank of Japan Inc.’s investment unit, the website shows.
Shares of Gree rose as much as 4.3 percent, the biggest intraday gain in six weeks, and traded 0.4 percent higher at the lunch break in Tokyo. Jafco slipped 0.3 percent after climbing as much as 2.3 percent. The benchmark Topix (TPX) dropped 0.5 percent.
Representatives for Gumi couldn’t be reached after several calls to the company’s office in Tokyo. Kenji Yamashita, a Tokyo-based spokesman for Nomura, declined to comment.
Chief Executive Officer Hironao Kunimitsu, who founded Gumi in 2007, spent 10 years traveling after he graduated from high school and visited more than 30 countries including China, India and the U.S., according to the company’s website. Gumi now earns more revenue overseas than it does from the domestic market, Kunimitsu wrote in a July 4 blog post.
The company raised 5 billion yen in its latest round of funding from investors including Gree and Jafco, according to a July 4 statement on its website.
First-time share sales in Japan will almost double to 1 trillion yen this year, Hiroshi Yoshihara, head of the IPO department at Tokyo-based Nomura, said in a January interview. As many as 80 companies in industries such as information technology, manufacturing and solar energy may list, up from 58 in 2013, according to Yoshihara.
Line Corp., operator of Japan’s most popular mobile messaging app, is working with Nomura and Morgan Stanley (MS) to prepare for an IPO as soon as November, people familiar with the matter said in June. The company may seek a market value of more than 1 trillion yen and is considering listing on the Tokyo Stock Exchange and either the New York Exchange or Nasdaq, according to the people.
Recruit Holdings Co., a Japanese provider of staffing services, plans a first-time share sale on the Tokyo Stock Exchange as soon as October, people with knowledge of the matter said in May.
To contact the reporter on this story: Takahiko Hyuga in Tokyo at email@example.com