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Opera has always quietly occupied fourth spot among the “Big Four” internet browsers. And now, the makers of the browser, Opera Software, sold most of their business components to a Chinese consortium for $600 million.
The deal was initially valued at $1.24 billion, although regulatory problems prevented an exchange of all business components from Opera Software. Not one to give up, the Chinese consortium of technology companies then agreed to only purchase Opera’s desktop and mobile browser operations along with their performance and privacy apps and their technology licensing business for a total value of $600 million.
That deal also involves the exchange of Opera Software’s 29% stake in Chinese joint venture nHorizon.
Opera Software isn’t dead: the company will continue to operate its advertising and marketing businesses along with game-related apps and television operations.
The stock market didn’t like the move. Bloomberg reported that Opera’s share value plummeted 17% on news of the takeover. However, Opera Software is still seen as having room to grow, as sales are projected to increase by as much as 30% this year.
Nevertheless, the deal isn’t quite complete as of yet. Opera Software claims they’re still waiting for government approval. They didn’t specify, but that would likely mean a holdup with either the Chinese government or America’s Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States.
Opera Needs a New Name
The most important way in which this will affect you is that Opera Software will have to pick a new name. The Opera name was sold to the Chinese consortium in that sale, so the company has 18 months to come up with a new name for its remaining business departments.
Meanwhile, the Opera browser will continue to be the world’s fourth most popular browser – just under control of Chinese companies.