Chinese firms extend deadline on $1.28b offer for Opera Software

Oslo—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 (1030 EDT), 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 <0#.OSEBX> 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.—Xinhua

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