Chinese tech firms entice Opera with $1.2 billion buyout bid

Opera Software, which is best known for its browser of the same name, has urged its shareholders to accept a buyout offer from a Chinese consortium that values the Norway-based company at £820 million ($1.2 billion).

The acquisition bid comes from a number of Chinese tech firms, including Qihoo—a leading security software company—and mobile Internet provider Kunlun. Opera has been looking for what it calls "strategic opportunities" since August last year, and said that its decision to recommend the offer, led by the Golden Brick Silk Road Fund Management of China, came after "careful consideration of the various opportunities for the company and the proposals received."

Opera's board and shareholders in its management team unanimously accepted the offer. In addition, "larger shareholders representing approximately 33 percent of the Opera shares outstanding, have undertaken to accept the offer for their shares in the company." The Chinese consortium said it was offering 71 NOK (about £5.60) per share, a premium of around 50 percent compared to the recent value of shares, which makes it quite likely that the offer will be accepted by the 90 percent threshold of shareholders needed for the deal to go through.

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