Opera, the good old browser company from Norway has reportedly been offered $1.2-Billion buyout by a consortium of Chinese Internet firms. The company made this announcement just today. The consortium will be led by Kunlan and Qihoo 360 (the guys behind Qiku), and will receive backing from Golden Brick and Yonglian.
This is what Opera CEO Lars Boilesen had to say “There is strong strategic and industrial logic to the acquisition of Opera by the consortium,” he further added that “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 had teamed up with Morgan Stanley International and ABG Sundal Collier, and went for a buyer lookout in August last year. This move was propelled by the fact that Opera had hit a low note with the earnings after losing out substantially on the market share and eventually the advertising revenue.
Yahun Zhou speaking for the consortium said that “Opera is a well-recognized mobile internet company with great brand recognition and global impact. Under its excellent management team, Opera has made remarkable achievements in recent years in the fields of mobile browser and mobile advertising.”
That being said, Opera’s marketshare has been declining constantly while others like UC Browser is gaining on this loss. The browser market is dominated by Chrome and Safari browsers, this added with the fierce competition from rivals like UC Browser has delivered a blow to Opera. Perhaps this is the very reason why Opera started allowing Whitelisting of its products (removing its branding from the products), like the Samsung UDS. At the moment, the prime concern for Opera would be to rope in as many manufacturers as possible and at the same time try fine tuning the Opera Max solutions to cater for the OEM markets.
Opera browser had been around for a couple of decades and when it was first launched, the market was in a dearth for browsers. The Symbian browser was sort of crippled and Opera aimed at becoming the better alternative and it did become one. The things have changed drastically and it would be an uphill task for the Opera to regain traction and the edge it once had over the other browsers.