Viber CEO denies reports in talks to sell company

TEL AVIV - Viber Media denied a media report on Tuesday that the popular instant messaging application is in talks to be acquired by an Asian company.

Israel's Calcalist financial newspaper reported that Viber was in talks to acquired by a leading instant messaging company from Asia for US$300 million-US$400 million (S$380 million-S$507 million).

Viber is run from Cyprus by Israeli entrepreneur Talmon Marco and has development centres in Belarus and Israel.

"I have no idea what this is about," Marco told Reuters, adding that the company was not in talks to sell.

Asia has several mobile chat applications such as Chinese WeChat, Japanese Line, and KakaoTalk from South Korea.

Viber has about 200 million registered users in 193 countries. It launched an instant messaging app for personal computers that allows users to make outgoing mobile calls to other Viber usersand to non-registered mobiles, making it a rival to Skype.

The company is funded from the pockets of its founders and several private investors from the United States, Calcalist said.