Chinese Group Nears Opera Takeover After Lorentzen Accepts Bidby
The group of Chinese technology companies attempting to buy Opera Software ASA came closer to completing the deal after the second-largest shareholder agreed to accept the offer one day ahead of its expiration.
Ludvig Lorentzen AS and its close associates on Monday agreed to tender 11 million shares, 7.5 percent of the outstanding stock, at the offer price of 71 kroner a share, according to a statement to the Oslo stock exchange.
The buyer group, which includes private-equity firm Golden Brick Capital Management Ltd., last week said it had acceptances from shareholders representing 72.7 percent shares in the company, close to the 90 percent minimum acceptance level. The offer was made by Golden Brick’s wholly owned subsidiary Kunqi.
The group began its 71 krone-a-share cash tender offer for Opera in February, which at the time was 46 percent above the last closing price. Members of the executive team and the board holding shares agreed to the offer and recommended it to stockholders. The largest shareholder, Folketrygdfondet, has also accepted the offer.
The buyers’ group also includes Chinese game maker Beijing Kunlun Tech Co., Internet security provider Qihoo 360 Technology Co. and Yonglian Investment Co. The sale will give Opera access to the Web-user base of Kunlun and Qihoo in China as well as additional financing, the company has said.
Opera’s browsers help mobile-phone, tablet and computer users surf the Web faster by using less data. The software maker has 350 million monthly active users of its consumer products. Its browsers are embedded in devices made by smartphone makers such as Samsung Electronics Co. and Xiaomi Corp.
Opera shares jumped 11.6 percent to 67.2 kroner at 11:37 a.m. in Oslo, giving the company a market value of 9.8 billion kroner.