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Opera to sell browser business after $1.2B buyout fails

broken piggy bank

Opera’s $1.2 billion buyout offer from a consortium of Chinese Internet firms including Kunlun Tech and Qihoo 360 has stalled after the deal hit regulatory troubles in China and U.S, reports Reuters. However, Opera has agreed to sell its key consumer business assets—mobile and PC web browsers—for an enterprise vale of $600 million, added the report. The consortium will not be buying rest of  Opera’s business, which includes advertising and marketing, its TV operations, and other game-related apps.

A Bloomberg report pointed out that Opera Software’s share value fell as much as 17% to 50 kroner yesterday in Oslo stock market, valuing the company at 7.3 billion kroner ($860 million). Note that the deal was approved by Opera’s shareholders in May, while the Chinese consortium was backed by investment funds including Golden Brick and Yonglian. Opera’s had secured the deal from the Chinese Consortium in February.

Opera has been looking for a buyer since August 2015, after their earnings collapsed due to a steady loss of browser marketshare, and slowing advertising sales. Last year, before the Chinese deal was approved, the company was said to be working with Morgan Stanley International and ABG Sundal Collier to help with the finding an acquirer.

Opera’s browser shares are falling

Globally, Opera’s stands last among the top 5 desktop browsers along with a mere 1.76% share as of July 2016 which dropped from 2.2% since December 2015.

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Among the top 9 mobile browsers globally, Opera ranks 4th with a 11.7% overall share as of July 2016. Opera’s mobile browser share dropped from 13.06% in September 2015—the highest since January 2015(9.55%).

In addition, in the Indian market, Opera’s mobile browser has been steadily losing out to UC Browser since July 2015 with a 15.95% share as of July 2016. However, Opera holds the third place among the top 9 mobile browser used in India. 

Financials

During the Q1 FY16, Opera reported a net loss of $17.1 million which; in the same quarter last year (Q1 FY15), Opera reported losses of $26.2 million. Overall revenues from is business operations during Q1FY16 stood at $163.5 million, which fell by 15.7% from $194 million in the preceding quarter.

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