Opera Limited buys back 20.6% of shares from 360 Security Technology Inc
Norwegian company Opera Limited announced that it intents to buy back all of its shares from Chinese company 360 Security Technology Inc. in an all cash transaction. The purchase would move 20.6% of shares from 360 Security Technology Inc. back to Opera Limited.
Opera Limited put up an offer of $128.6 million in cash for the 46.75 million ordinary shares that 360 Security Technology Inc. holds currently. The purchase price equals $5.50 per ADS (American Depositary Share) , as the ordinary shares that 360 Security Technology Inc. holds equal 23.375 million ADS.
Opera Limited representatives have come to an agreement with "its pre-IPO shareholder Qifei International Development Co. Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of 360 Security Technology Inc.", to acquire the entire shareholding. The transaction is subject to the approval of "360's shareholders at a shareholder meeting". The meeting is scheduled for October 10, 2022.
Opera Limited develops the Opera web browser and other Internet consumer products. Opera browser, the Opera brand name and other assets associated with the browser were sold to a Chinese consortium in 2016 for $600 million.
Opera Software went public on the NASDAQ stock exchange in 2018. Opera shares trade at $4.08 currently.
360 Security Technology Inc. is a member of a Chinese consortium that purchased the Opera browser and name in 2016. Kunlun Tech Limited and Keeneyes Future Holding Inc held sizable shares of Opera Limited in 2018 as well.
The purchase of more than 20% of stocks gives Opera Limited more control over its own future, if the deal goes through. Privacy advocates criticized Opera Limited for making the initial deal in 2016, fearing that it give Chinese companies too much control over the Opera web browser and data.
We reached out to Opera to find out more about the current shareholder structure, especially in regards to other members of the Chinese consortium, which purchased shares in the company before the IPO in 2018. It is unclear if Opera Limited has the intention to buy back shares from other members of the consortium as well.
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