Opera agrees partial sale after regulators block full takeover

Opera SoftwareOpera has agreed to sell just the consumer-facing part of its business to a group of Chinese companies, after a planned 100% takeover failed to get regulatory approval.

In a statement released today, Opera said that it would now sell its consumer business to the Chinese consortium for US$600 million, after the original US$1.2 billion takeover offer failed to get regulatory clearance before an agreed “drop-dead date” of July 15.

Under the new deal, the Golden Brick Capital Private Equity Fund – which is backed by Chinese firms including search company Qihoo 360 Software and internet group Beijing Kunlun World Wide Technology – will buy Opera’s mobile and desktop browser.

The deal also includes Opera’s performance and privacy apps, Opera’s non-TV related technology licensing business and its 29% ownership in Chinese joint venture nHorizon.

The parts of Opera’s business that are not included in the deal are Opera TV, Opera Mediaworks and Opera’s apps and games, including Bemobi – a Latin American ‘Netflix-style’ subscription service for premium Android apps, which the company acquired last year.

Opera’s CEO, Lars Boilesen, is due to serve as CEO for both Opera and the consumer business until December 31, after which he will give up his consumer business duties and dedicate his time solely to Opera.

The deal is expected to close in the second half of the third quarter.

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