Norway’s Opera Software, the company behind the popular mobile browser, confirmed on Tuesday night that it has been acquired by a consortium of Chinese Internet companies for 10.5 billion Norwegian Krone ($1.2 billion). The consortium consists of a mobile game developer, Kunlun, mobile security maker Qihoo and is backed by investment funds Golden Brick and Yonglian.
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.
Opera has been known for data compression in its browsers, thus increasing the browsers speed and reduced data charges for its users, at some point it became on of the most popular and leading browsers on early mobile phones.
Kunlun CEO Yahui Zhou, on behalf of the Chinese bidders showed his appreciation by praising Opera’s brand and technology. “Kunlun has always been a pioneer in international growth among its Chinese internet peers and has already obtained a large market share in Asia, Europe and other markets,” Zhou said in a statement. “By combining Opera with Kunlun, Qihoo, and Golden Brick, the Consortium will join forces and solidify our leadership position in the international internet space.”
Opera is expected to talk more about the takeover offer later this week. Though recently its Opera browser is going through tough times especially with competing brands such as Firefox, Chrome and Safari, lets hope they have a strategy towards serving users with even greater innovation.
Opera is a web browser developed by Opera Software. The latest version is available for Microsoft Windows, OS X, and Linux operating systems, and uses the Blink layout engine. Opera began in 1994 as a research project at Telenor, the largest Norwegian telecommunications company. In 1995, it branched out into a separate company named Opera Software ASA. Opera was first released publicly with version 2.0 in 1996, which only ran on Microsoft Windows. In an attempt to capitalize on the emerging market for Internet-connected handheld devices, a project to port Opera to mobile device platforms was started in 1998. Opera 4.0, released in 2000, included a new cross-platform core that facilitated creation of editions of Opera for multiple operating systems and platforms.
Opera has been noted for originating many features later adopted by other web browsers. Prominent examples are Speed Dial, Pop-up Blocking, Browser Sessions, Private Browsing and, among major browsers, Tabbed Browsing.