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Opera’s board is willing to sell the browser to Chinese Collective

After several months of rumors, it looks like Opera finally confirmed that its board had accepted an offer of 1.2 billion dollars from a consortium of Chinese firms.

The Norway-based company declared these weeks that its board unanimously recommends that shareholders approve the bid, which will give the browser a strong push into China.

However, Lars Boilesen, the CEO of Opera, and Hakon Wium Lie, the company’s CTO and inventor of cascading style sheets, have declared that the sale hasn’t gone through yet.

They also intended to let the impression that this sale was not necessarily their own wish, but was more an initiative from the shareholders and the board.

I have been working for Opera since ’99, Håkon ’98,” declared Lars Boilesen. 
“He’s No. 8; I’m No. 16. We’ve been with Opera for many years. We got listed on the Stockholm stock exchange in 2004.

So basically, the shareholders — they decided to initiate this process. It was kind of their decision. It wasn’t our decision,” he continued.

To be added that the Chinese consortium that is ready to buy Opera includes the investment Golden Brick and Yonglian, but also Internet Security Company Qihoo 360 and Internet firm Beijing Kunlun, which also invested 93 million dollars into Grindr.

Even if the board had a few options, it looks like they have decided to go with a consortium that includes these companies from China.

If you are listed on the stock exchange, you have to be prepared for this kind of stuff. Anybody can buy you,” Wium Lie added. “We benefitted from that system and now… you know…” Boilesen said. 
We know what it’s like to be on the stock exchange, so basically we just started the process. 

We are the ones who have to work with the interested parties. We worked with them — that was kind of interesting. We kind of did that,” he continued.

“There were all kinds of things there from private equity firms that want to get the cost down — but they would’ve closed down the firm in four years and we’re not super interested in that. We still want more people to use our software.

That’s what we are passionate about,” he concluded.
Unfortunately, for Opera users, this news comes like a big of shock. Moreover, Qihoo 360, one of the companies that will acquire Opera doesn’t necessarily have the best reputation.

With the purpose to calm down Opera users, Wium Lie and Boilesen have declared that Qihoo is only the minority shareholder in this deal. Mobile games and apps firm Kunlun is the majority partner. To be added that Kunlun also publishes Angry Birds in China.

Opera was founded in 1995 and even if it wasn’t a top browser, it always had an important number of loyal users. The company has also released one of the first true mobile browsers, which was also considered to be the best in the early days of Android phones.

No matter if the acquisition will close or not, Boilesen and Wium Lie have lots of plans for the company’s future. So, if the new owners will allow them to see these plans be completed, users might be able to enjoy some great new things.
Opera’s board is willing to sell the browser to Chinese Collective Reviewed by John Colston on 4:22 PM Rating: 5
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