After days and nights of intense negotiations that reached a crescendo late last week, the pending sale of Oslo-based Opera Software failed and then struck a bad chord with investors. Its share price tumbled, but at least some operations are still expected to be sold off.
Newspaper Dagens Næringsliv (DN) reported Tuesday that Opera Software boss Lars Boilesen could understand that the prospective Chinese buyers “wanted to find an alternative,” after their planned purchase of the entire company was blocked by regulators in one of the countries involved in the deal.
“We were open to extending (Friday’s) deadline for concluding the deal,” said Boilesen. The deal had been pending for a year, though, and he conceded that’s “a long time for an organization to live with uncertainty.”
After five days of negotiations without sleep, Opera and the group of Chinese buyers led by Golden Brick, struck a new deal. The group will now take over Opera’s consumer operations for NOK 5.1 billion, including the company’s mobile- and desktop brower apps and technology licensing operations except those for TV. Opera will retain its Mediaworks unit, other apps and gaming, and Opera TV.
“We have sold a less profitable part of the company for a good price,” Boilesen claimed. “We’re left with the parts of the company that are growing the fastest.” The new deal is also subject to regulatory approval but he said the process should be “much less complicated” and is expected to be completed during the third quarter.