Microsoft Corporation and LinkedIn Corporation have announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement under which Microsoft will acquire Linkedin for $196 per share in an all-cash transaction valued at $26.2 billion, inclusive of LinkedIn’s net cash.
According to CEO of Microsoft, Reid Hoffman, LinkedIn will retain its distinct brand, culture and independence. Jeff Weiner will remain CEO of LinkedIn.
LinkedIn is the world’s largest and most valuable professional network and continues to build a strong and growing business. Over the past year, the company has launched a new version of its mobile app that has led to increased member engagement; enhanced the LinkedIn newsfeed to deliver better business insights; acquired a leading online learning platform called Lynda.com to enter a new market; and rolled out a new version of its Recruiter product to its enterprise customers.
Nevertheless, connecting the world’s professionals.
This is Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella’s first big acquisition since he took over the top job more than two years ago. Microsoft is positioning the combination as the “world’s leading professional cloud” together with the “world’s leading professional network.” It’s clear this is a big acquisition for Microsoft, both in terms of cash value and what LinkedIn brings to the company. More than 433 million people use LinkedIn worldwide to network, find jobs, and reconnect with old colleagues. Many of those LinkedIn users also pay for premium services to use the site.