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Line Corp received no stake purchase offer from SoftBank: Line COO

A woman holding her smartphone walks past an advertisement board of SoftBank Corp outside its branch in Tokyo February 25, 2014. REUTERS/Yuy
A woman holding her smartphone walks past an advertisement board of SoftBank Corp outside its branch in Tokyo February 25, 2014. REUTERS/Yuy

TOKYO (Reuters) - Line Corp, a Japan-based mobile messaging service operator, has not received an offer for a stake purchase from SoftBank Corp, the company's chief operating officer said on Wednesday.

Shares in SoftBank and in Line's South Korean parent company, Naver Corp, surged on Tuesday after a Bloomberg News report that SoftBank and Line had held talks on a stake sale. Line and Naver both denied that talks had taken place.

Line COO Takeshi Idezawa also told a new product briefing that Line users in the United States and Europe had increased since last week's news of Facebook Inc's $19 billion deal to buy WhatsApp.

(Reporting by Reiji Murai; Writing by Edmund Klamann; Editing by Dominic Lau)

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