With $1.2bn buyout, could Opera be headed for success in China?


Opera is on the verge of being sold after receiving a big buyout offer from a consortium of Chinese companies.

The would-be buyers include security juggernaut Qihoo and online gaming outfit Kunlun, backed by major investment funds, and they're willing to pay $1.2 billion (around £830 million, AU$1.7 billion) for the privilege of owning the browser.

As ZDNet reports, that's just over a 50% premium on what Opera shares were trading at as of a week ago, and unsurprisingly the board has unanimously recommended the deal.

Chief executive Lars Boilesen commented: "There is strong strategic and industrial logic to the acquisition of Opera by the Consortium. 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."

Pending approval

Opera shareholders will have to approve the deal, however, and of course it will also be subject to the usual regulatory scrutiny.

If everything does go ahead, the browser might find success in the Chinese market, particularly with the backing of these heavyweight companies. That success has proved elusive over in the western world, despite Opera's clever compression techniques that come in very handy particularly in the mobile arena where data usage is always a critical consideration.

Certainly success will be on the cards if Qihoo and co have anything to do with it. Qihoo is a $9 billion firm which provides security to 500 million PCs and 800 million mobile users across the globe, and has recently diversified further with its own VR headset offering.

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).