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Chinese group bids $1.2bn for Norway's Opera web browser

February 15, 2016

A group of investors has placed a bid of $1.2bn for the world's sixth-place internet browser, the New York Times reports.

The bid is the latest effort by Chinese technology companies to expand their reach, with Alibaba Group and Tencent Holdings making purchases outside China. The mobile-game maker and partner behind the Opera bid, Beijing Kunlun Tech, also recently acquired a 60% stake in Grindr, valuing the app at $155m.

According to internet metrics firm StatCounter, Opera is the sixth most-used browser, with a 5.5% market share. It follows Chrome, Apple's Safari, Microsoft's Internet Explorer, Firefox and Alibaba's UCWeb.

However, it is the most popular browser in Africa, the third in India and Russia, and the fourth in Indonesia.

Golden Brick Silk Road Fund Management of China leads the group wishing to acquire the Norwegian company. The group also includes Yonglian Investment, an affiliate of Golden Brick Silk Road Fund Management, as well as Kunlun Tech and Qihoo 360, a Chinese antivirus and search company.

The offer made by the group is 71 Norwegian kroner, or $8.31 a share, a premium of about 56% based on the average share price over the last 30 days.

Under the agreement, Opera will gain funding and access to Kunlun and Qihoo's internet users in China, while they in return will have the ability to sell their products to Opera users as well as utilize its mobile advertising platform.

According to reports, it has been recommended shareholders accept the offer after a unanimous decision by the board.

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