The Strategist

The Norwegian Opera Browser Will Become Chinese For $ 1.2 Billion

02/10/2016 - 14:06

Norwegian company Opera Software, the developer and owner of the Opera web browser, has received a purchase offer worth $ 1.2 billion from Chinese investors. The Norwegians hope that the deal will let the company carry out a large-scale expansion towards the gigantic Chinese market, and will provide the funds necessary for further development.

Today's post of the Norwegian company Opera Software tells about an agreement with a consortium of Chinese investors, namely Golden Brick Silk Road, Beijing Kunlun Tech Co., Qihoo 360 Software and Yonglian Investment Co. The investors made an offer to purchase 100% of Opera for 10.5 billion Norwegian kroner ($ 1.2 billion), which is 56% more than the company’s average share price over the last 30 days. Opera Management clarified that the Chinese investors’ offer is a conclusion of "a long process to explore all strategic options for business development", of which the Norwegians reported back in August last year. In recent years, Opera has been trying to increase its market share among browsers, but without much success: Opera’s PC market share is 2%, and the mobile browser Opera Mini accounts for just 10.9%, according to StatCounter’s data as of December 2015.

Today, Opera Software's board of directors unanimously recommended that shareholders accept the offer of his company's investors. The company's management explains the appropriateness of the transaction by the following suggestion: «Opera will get access to the Internet user database of Kunlun and Qihoo companies in China, as well as to financing and other forms of support from the consortium, what will increase the company’s potential." At the same time, Chinese investors will be able to sell their products to Opera users and "benefit from working on Opera’s advertising mobile platform." Once the news were published, Opera Software’s shares soared 36%.