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Chinese consortium bids 10.5b crowns for Norway's Opera

[OSLO] A group of Chinese firms have made a cash offer for all the shares in Norwegian mobile software company Opera, valuing it at 10.5 billion crowns (S$1.71 billion), the Norwegian firm said on Wednesday.

The buyers, which include New-York listed Qihoo 360 and Shenzen-listed Beijing Kunlun Tech, made an offer of 71 Norwegian crowns per share, a 45.6 per cent premium on the value of the shares in the company on Friday.

Shares in the Oslo-based firm have been suspended from trade since Friday as the shares rose ahead of an expected announcement on the company's future and were worth 48.77 Norwegian crowns.

The online advertising and internet browser maker said last year it was considering a sale of the company.

"The board of directors of Opera has unanimously decided to recommend the company's shareholders to accept the offer," Opera said in a statement.

The buyers also include unlisted Chinese firms Golden Brick and Yonglian Investment.

Owners of 33 per cent of Opera's shares have already agreed to the deal, the Opera board said.