Opera Software shareholders back Chinese takeover bid

A Logo of Qihoo 360 is seen in Nanjing, Jiangsu province, November 2, 2014. REUTERS/China Daily

OSLO (Reuters) - More than 90 percent of Norwegian online browser and advertising company Opera Software's OPERA.OL shareholders have backed a Chinese consortium's $1.24 billion takeover bid, clearing a big hurdle for the deal to go ahead, the buyers said on Wednesday.

The bid was accepted by shareholders owning 90.6 percent of Opera’s outstanding capital and 90.9 percent of the votes, preliminary numbers showed.

The bidders had needed more than 90 percent by a May 24 deadline, and a source close to the deal told Reuters before the announcement that threshold had been cleared.

The offer, unanimously endorsed by Opera’s board, still needs approval from the U.S. and Chinese authorities.

The consortium is made up of Qihoo 360 Technology Co Ltd QIHU.N, Beijing Kunlun Tech Co 300418.SZ, Golden Brick Silk Road (Shenzhen) Equity Investment Fund and its Yonglian Investment affiliate.

Opera has said the deal will allow it to reach more emerging market consumers.

The Chinese offer of 71 Norwegian crowns ($8.51) per share equates to about 10 times the company’s forecast core earnings.

Opera shares rose 1.6 percent in early trade to 67.75 crowns.

Writing by Stine Jacobsen, editing by Terje Solsvik and Susan Thomas