Opera Going Public

The Web browser maker plans a March public listing on the Oslo Stock Exchange in its home country of Norway.

Opera Software ASA, an Oslo, Norway, maker of Web browser software, is planning to go public next month.

Opera announced on Monday that its board of directors has decided to apply for a public listing on the Oslo Stock Exchange. The news came as the company reported a 54 percent increase in earnings for 2003 compared with 2002.

Opera CEO Jon von Tetzchner said in a statement that after nine years developing its browser technology Opera is ready to go public to play a bigger role in the market.

"Opera has come far, and a public listing will give us more flexibility to expand our position as a leading player in the Internet arena," von Tetzchner said in the statement.

/zimages/5/28571.gifTo read more about Operas latest Web browser release, click here.

Operas Web browser is the third most popular browser with a 0.8 percent market share, behind Microsoft Corp.s Internet Explorer (94.8 percent) and the open-source Mozilla browser (1.8 percent), according to data from Web analytics vendor OneStat.com.

While taking on IEs dominance, Opera also has focused aggressively on the mobile space with mobile browser technology for smart phones and PDAs.