Opera Software announced that it received a buyout offer of $1.2bn from a group of Chinese companies, including mobile internet company, Kunlun Tech Co. Ltd, Internet company Qihoo 360, with support from investment funds Golden Brick Silk Road and Yonglian Investment Co.
Opera’s board of directors has recommended that shareholders take the offer. The deal includes the sale of Opera’s mobile advertising network, Opera Mediaworks, which offers solutions for mobile marketers and publishers to grow their audiences and ROI.
Opera Mediaworks offers mobile ad and publisher solutions
Opera Mediaworks acquisitions include ad mediation platform, AdMarvel, ad network, 4th Screen Advertising, AdColony, AdVine as well as Skyfire Labs, Mobile Theory, Hunt Mobile and Handster. Opera Software revenue for Q4 2015 was up 25% to $193.5m, compared to $154.4m the year over. Results were strongly driven by mobile advertising revenue, which rose 41% to $145.4m. Video ad revenue comprised 60% of all mobile ad revenue.
Given its strong results within mobile video it’s no surprise that the business whose clients include large brands such as McDonalds, Mondelez and Coca Cola, is being snapped up. Opera Mediaworks also monetises fro 25,000 apps and websites.
The move could be of particular interest to current Mediaworks clients wishing to gain access to the Chinese mobile advertising market. Mobile ad spend in the country is forecast to double to $14bn this year.
“We know from our work in China that globalization is a huge focus for many of the major Chinese companies which are looking to grow their user base abroad after they reach market dominance at home. It’s possible that for Kunlun, Opera’s strength in global distribution presents a compelling benefit as they look to overseas growth.”
Opera CEO Lars Boilesen confirmed in a statement that the acquisition was a strategic and logic move to enter an emerging market.
“When we started moving into emerging markets about five years ago, we worked with operators to get people online, and now as we work with these operators, we have access to their billing platform to generate transactions. We can do this because of one very simple thing: If you have an Opera app on your device, there is a connection between that and our server, a tunnel between the device and our cloud.”