Opera announces it received a buyout offer worth $1.2 billion from a consortium of Chinese investors, one including billionaire Zhou Hongyi (owner of security and search company Qihoo 360) and ISP Beijing Kunlun Tech.
The company has been looking for a buyer since an August 2015 strategic review. Opera is of course best known for the web browsers of the same name, but it also offers the SurfEasy VPN service and owns a range of IP covering mobile and slimline web browsers for smart devices.
Opera browsers have long fallen out of favour, as Google Chrome, Apple Safari and Firefox occupy most (if not all) browser user share, but it still commands a small yet loyal userbase. The company currently has some success as mobile advertising, but it still faces losses.
In 2012 Facebook was rumoured to be interested in buying Opera for around $1bn.
"The transaction would give Opera access to the extensive internet user base of Kunlun and Qihoo in China as well as the financing and other support of the Consortium that would allow for the full potential of the Company to be realised," Opera says. "At the same time, Kunlun and Qihoo would be able to cross-sell their products and services to the Opera user base, and benefit from Opera's leading mobile advertising platform."
Either way, such a deal would represent a win-win for Opera-- Opera technology will find use in Kunlun and Qihoo products, while Western Opera users might benefit from investments by the Chinese owners in both technology and expansion in global reach.