What: Oslo-based browser company Opera has received a buyout offer of US$1.2 billion by a consortium of Chinese companies.
Why it matters: The offer, which includes its lucrative mobile advertising business, is being led by investment fund Golden Brick Silk Road, along with Kunlun Tech , Qihoo 360 and Yonglian Investment Co., Ltd. (collectively the “Consortium.”) In 2014 Opera Mediaworks, a unit of Opera, bought Hunt Mobile, which targets the Latin America and the U.S. Hispanic market .
Oslo-based browser company Opera has received a buyout offer of US$1.2 billion by a consortium of Chinese companies.
The acquisition offer, which includes its lucrative mobile advertising business, is being led by investment fund Golden Brick Silk Road, along with Kunlun Tech (a gaming company), Qihoo 360 (which makes anti-virus and browser software) and Yonglian (Yinchuan) Investment Co., Ltd. (“Yonglian”) (collectively the “Consortium.”)
In a press release, the company’s board recommended shareholders to accept the US$1.2 billion offer from China-based investment firms.The Offer values the total share capital of Opera at approximately NOK 10.5 billion (USD 1.2 billion) on a fully diluted basis.
The company’s board recommended shareholders to take the US$1.2 billion offer from China-based investment firms
Launch of the Offer is conditional upon approval by the general meeting of Kunlun of its participation in the Consortium. Such approval is expected to be obtained in the beginning of March 2016. The acceptance period in the Offer will commence no later than 15 March 2016.
Opera comprises mobile ad network Opera Mediaworks, which reaches more than 1 billion users and operates as a subsidiary for Opera’s desktop and mobile browser products. In February 2013 Opera spinned off its advertising business into a brand new entity called Opera Mediaworks. Among other acquisitions in 2014 Opera Media Works bought Argentina based Hunt Mobile Ads, a mobile Ad Network targeting the Spanish-speaking world (Latin America and the U.S. Hispanic market) as well as Brazil.
The Chinese firms are said to be more interested in Opera’s mobile ad business rather than its browser.Other acquisitions under the Opera Mediaworks brand umbrella include: AdColony (mobile video ad network); AdMarvel (mobile ad serving); AdVine, Mobile Theory, Apprupt and 4th Screen (mobile ad networks); Skyfire Labs (mobile video optimization)and Handster (mobile app store platform).
The Chinese firms are said to be more interested in Opera’s mobile ad business rather than its browser. Its mobile ad tech’s Q4 2015 revenue was US$145.4 million, and total company Q4 revenue was US$193.5 million. In addition, Opera Mediaworks has seen particular growth in mobile video advertising( Its Q4 2015 revenues comprised 60% of all revenue for the platform), according to Adexchanger.
“There is strong strategic and industrial logic to the acquisition of Opera by the Consortium,” Opera CEO Lars Boilesen said in a statement. “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.”