Norways Opera Software said on Monday it plans a stock market listing in March to aid its race against giant rival Microsoft (MSFT.O: Quote, Profile, Research) to win customers for its Internet browsers in the growing mobile phone market.
Founded in 1995 with two employees, the Norwegian firm now has 140 staff and a small but loyal base of eight million users of its Internet browser for desktop computers.
It resisted the lure of a stock market listing in the technology boom of the late 1990s even though it was among the rare tech start-ups making a profit at the time.
"At the start, people thought we were crazy to go out and make a browser" in a market now dominated by Microsofts Internet Explorer, chief executive Jon S. von Tetzchner, 36, told Reuters. "Now were going one step further."
Opera, which has an estimated market capitalisation of about a billion Norwegian crowns ($143.6 million) based on grey market trading of 10-11 crowns per share, said it may aim to raise 75-150 million crowns ($10.8-21.5 million) in the Oslo listing.
News source: Reuters