Opera to sell its business to Chinese consortium for $600 million

A consortium of Chinese companies has recently agreed to purchase Norway-based company Opera Software for $600 million.

Kunqi Consortium, which consists of Chinese security firm Qihoo 360 Technology Co. and gaming company Kunlun Tech Co., was set to acquire Opera's consumer business for $1.2 billion. However, worries over consumers and personal information reportedly helped hit the brakes on the transaction, and made Kunqi make some reconsiderations.

With the purchase going forward, Opera's mobile phone and desktop computer browser business, performance and privacy apps division, technology licensing business, and stake in Chinese joint venture nHorizon will be acquired. However, Opera's advertising and marketing business, its TV operations, and its game-related apps will not be included in the purchase.

The alternative deal is foreseen by the Kunqi consortium to appease U.S. authorities and finally give them a regulatory approval. "According to what we know, it was because of Opera's other services, and involves very many users' privacy. This would be extremely rigorously investigated during the U.S. government's audit and probably would have delayed the entire acquisition process by six months to a year," a Kunlun spokeswoman stated.

"So we opted for a better method, and chose Opera's core assets, namely the consumer business, as the target of the acquisition. That greatly accelerates the acquisition process," she said.

With Opera being acquired by the Chinese consortium, including its name, the remaining parts of old Opera has 18 months to come up with a new branding.

According to Reuters, the acquisition was a part of complex deals done by buyers seeking to join forces in China, which is greatly dominated by firms like Tencent and Alibaba. The move also helps the buyers expand into other markets around the world.

Source: Reuters

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