Qihoo360, Beijing Kunlun Tech group extend deadline on $1.28b offer for Opera

A group of Chinese internet firms who made a cash offer in February for Norwegian mobile phone browser and advertising firm Opera Software, valuing it at $1.28 billion, have extended the offer as it has not reached the required level of acceptances.

The group said on Thursday it had received acceptances representing 72.19 percent of the shares in Opera, below the required level of more than 90 percent.

The offer, which had been unanimously endorsed by the board of Opera, is now extended to May 24 at 1630 CET (1430 GMT), the latest deadline possible, the group of buyers said in a statement to the Oslo stock exchange.

“There will be no further extensions to the offer period,” it said.

The buyers include U.S.-listed web search and security firm Qihoo 360 and Beijing Kunlun Tech, a distributor of online and mobile games.

The group is offering 71 Norwegian crowns ($8.60) per share, with the total price equating to about 10 times the company’s forecast core earnings.

Shares in Opera Software closed down 0.39 percent at 64.25 crowns on Thursday, while the main Oslo market index closed flat.

“There is no incentive for shareholders to lock in their shares until the very last moment, so the postponement was expected,” said Haavard Nilsson, an analyst at Oslo-based brokerage Carnegie.

The deal also needs to be approved by Chinese and U.S. authorities and the decisions are not expected until late June, he added.

Carnegie is not an adviser on the deal. In March it gave an independent assessment of the deal, saying that it was “fair”.

The buyer consortium also includes the Golden Brick Silk Road (Shenzhen) Equity Investment Fund and its Yonglian Investment affiliate, and the takeover will result in a mobile Internet business combination of Opera, Kunlun, Qihoo and Golden Brick.

Opera‘s hoped-for acquisition is part of a complex of deals being done by the Chinese buyers seeking to join forces in their home market to better compete with bigger rivals such as Alibaba and Tencent.

Opera also helps the group expand into emerging markets in Asia, Africa and elsewhere.

Morgan Stanley and ABG Sundal Collier are financial advisors to Opera while Citigroup and Arctic Securities are advising some members of the group of buyers and act as overall co-ordinators.

Also Read:

Chinese consortium makes $1.23b offer for Norway’s Opera

Reuters

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.