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Opera accepts $1.2bn buyout offer from Chinese companies

Opera

Norwegian Software company, Opera, has announced that it has accepted a $1.2 billion acquisition offer from a consortium of Chinese firms, led by Kunlun and Qihoo 360 backed by the investment funds Golden Brick and Yonglian

According to the press release,

“A cash consideration of NOK 71.00 will be offered per share, valuing the total outstanding share capital of Opera at approximately NOK 10.5 billion (USD 1.2 billion) on a fully diluted basis. The Offer represents a premium of approximately 53 per cent to the closing price on 4 February 2016, one day prior to speculations appearing in the local market concerning a potential offer for the Company, and a premium of approximately 56 per cent and approximately 46 per cent, respectively, to the 30 trading days and 90 trading days volume weighted average share price ending on 4 February 2016.”

Opera’s board is recommending that its shareholders approve the takeover by the Chinese firms.

The strategic rationale is that the transaction would give Opera access to the extensive internet User Base of Kunlun and Qihoo in China as well as the financing and other support of the Consortium that would allow for the full potential of the Company to be realized. At the same time, Kunlun and Qihoo would be able to cross-sell their products and services to the Opera user base, and benefit from Opera’s leading Mobile advertising platform.

Lars Boilesen, Chief Executive Officer of Opera, said, “There is strong strategic and industrial logic to the acquisition of Opera by the Consortium. We believe that the Consortium, with its breadth of expertise and strong market position in emerging markets, will be a strong owner of Opera. The Consortium’s ownership will strengthen Opera’s position to serve our users and partners with even greater innovation, and to accelerate our plans of expansion and growth.”

On behalf of the Consortium, Yahui Zhou, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Kunlun, said “Opera is a well-recognized mobile Internet Company with great brand recognition and global impact. Under its excellent management team, Opera has made remarkable achievements in recent years in the fields of mobile browser and mobile advertising. Kunlun has always been a pioneer in international growth among its Chinese internet peers, and has already obtained a large market share in Asia, Europe and other markets. Our partner, Qihoo, operates one of the largest online open platforms with significant expertise in offering online advertising and internet value added services. By combining Opera with Kunlun, Qihoo, and Golden Brick, the Consortium will join forces and solidify our leadership position in the international internet space.”

Opera is best known for its browser but has also focused on other areas, including data compression and advertising.

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