Opera set to sell core units to Chinese business for $600 million


— 3:36 PM on July 18, 2016

Opera Software, best known for its desktop and mobile browser, may soon become Chinese instead of Norwegian. The company is inking a $600 million deal with the Chinese Kunqi consortium (which includes Qihoo 360 and Kunlun) for the acquisition of a number of Opera's divisions.

Kunqi is offering the money in exchange for Opera's mobile and desktop browser software, its "performance and privacy apps" division, technology licensing business, and the company's stake in nHorizon. Both companies expect to ink the deal in "late third quarter." The Chinese consortium will not acquire Opera Mediaworks, Apps & Games, and Opera TV. Reuters reports that the business units that Kunqi is leaving behind net Opera a combined revenue of $467 million in 2015.

Today's $600 million bid is actually a revision of a bigger $1.2-billion deal first announced back in February. According to Reuters, Opera and Kunqi decided to try a different tack after realizing that the original deal would have to go through U.S-China regulatory verifications, something which would have delayed the purchase by up to a year.

When news of the February deal's failure hit the Internet, Opera's shares tumbled by 17%. However, since announcing the revised acquisition plan, the company's shares climbed to 11% more than their February value. Opera Chairman Sverre Munck told Reuters that investors are likely to see an "extraordinary dividend" come autumn.

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