The recent reports by technology website Pocket-Lint about the social media giant Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) acquiring Opera have pushed the Opera share prices at record high. On Tuesday, Opera shares jumped as much as 26%, the biggest gain since company’s first IPO in 2004. At 11:37 AM, the company shares were trading at 40.5 kroner, which puts the current market value of Opera at 4.85 billion kroner ($808 million).
Mark Zuckerberg wants to acquire the only major Web browser left, as all the other browsers are already owned by Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG), Microsoft and Apple. “A deal would make strategic sense for Facebook,” said Aleksander Nilsen, an analyst at Abg Sundal Collier in Oslo. “If they want to get their own browser, they have two alternatives: one is to build their own browser, which will take some time, and two is to buy a company that has a current browser. Opera is the only independent player here.”
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Norway-based Opera is listed in Oslo Stock Exchange. Currently the company has over 700 employees at 11 offices. Last year, the company recorded a net turnover of $190 with over 270 million users worldwide.
Despite the media reports and speculations, officials from both the companies, Opera and Facebook, declined to comment.
Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) recently raised $16 billion in its IPO, and now it seems to be on an acquisition spree. The company recently acquired the photos sharing app Instagram for a hefty $1.17 billion. According to the reports, Facebook may put over $1 billion to acquire Opera.
However, Facebook is not the only player competing for Opera. Russia-based Yandix and another monster, Google, are also in the race.