Facebook dips as it ponders a tilt at the Opera
FACEBOOK shares yesterday fell below $30 for the first time, having slid some 20 per cent since the social network floated two weeks ago.
Shares in mobile phone software firm Opera headed in the opposite direction, up as much as 26 per cent, amid speculation that it could become Facebook’s first takeover target since its flotation.
Facebook began trading publicly on 18 May following one of the most anticipated share offerings in history. The initial public offering (IPO) had been priced at $38 on the opening day.
Yet the firm’s stock market debut was marred by technical glitches at the Nasdaq stock market that delayed the start of trading.
Analysts suggested Facebook would have to pay upwards of $1 billion (£640 million) to buy Opera because rival bids from other possible suitors, including search engine operator and software firm Google, would drive up the price.
Oslo-listed Opera, coveted for its advanced mobile phone software technology, would be a perfect fit for Facebook but the firm’s business is also vital for some of the industry’s biggest players so any bid is likely to attract others to the table.
Arctic Securities said: “Opera would be sensible for Facebook on several levels.
“It would enhance the now-limited mobile experience of Facebook, improve Facebook’s mobile monetisation problem, help Facebook retain online game developers and further improve Facebook’s ability to target ads.”
PETER RANSCOMBE AND SCOTT REID
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Wednesday 19 June 2013
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