Microsoft to acquire LinkedIn

By Sumit Modi

Microsoft and LinkedIn have announced that they have entered into an agreement in which Microsoft will acquire LinkedIn for $196 per share in a cash transaction of $26.2 billion.

LinkedIn will retain its brand and independence, and Jeff Weiner will remain its CEO, reporting to Microsoft's CEO Satya Nadella. Reid Hoffman, Chairman of the Board, Co-Founder and Controlling Shareholder of LinkedIn, and Weiner both fully support this transaction. The deal is expected to close this calendar year.

LinkedIn's reputation at the world's largest and most valued professional social network continues to grow apace. The company has recently launched a new version of its mobile app; enhanced the LinkedIn newsfeed; acquired Lynda.com; and introduced a new version of its Recruiter product to enterprise customers. All of this has resulted in increased membership, engagement, and financial results.

Nadella said: “The LinkedIn team has grown a fantastic business centered on connecting the world’s professionals. Together we can accelerate the growth of LinkedIn, as well as Microsoft Office 365 and Dynamics as we seek to empower every person and organization on the planet.”

Weiner added: “Just as we have changed the way the world connects to opportunity, this relationship with Microsoft, and the combination of their cloud and LinkedIn’s network, now gives us a chance to also change the way the world works. For the last 13 years, we’ve been uniquely positioned to connect professionals to make them more productive and successful, and I’m looking forward to leading our team through the next chapter of our story.”

The transaction has been unanimously approved by the Boards of Directors of both LinkedIn and Microsoft, but the deal is subject to approval by LinkedIn’s shareholders, the satisfaction of certain regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.

 

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