Microsoft, the software giant, has announced that it has agreed to acquire LinkedIn, a social network aimed at connecting working professionals with one another, for a whopping $26.2 billion price tag.
Microsoft and LinkedIn Corporation have entered into a definitive agreement under which the tech giant will be acquiring LinkedIn at the price of $196 per share in an all-cash transaction valued at $26.2 billion. This will be inclusive of LinkedIn’s net cash.
With more than 433 million users and over 7 million active job listing on its platform, LinkedIn is currently the world’s biggest social network for working professionals.
As per the Microsoft’s spokesperson, LinkedIn will be completely retaining its distinct brand, culture and independence. Jeff Weiner, who is the current CEO, will continue to remain the CEO of company and will now report directly to Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella.
The deal is expected to close in the current calendar itself and that Reid Hoffman, chairman of the board, co-founder and controlling shareholder of LinkedIn, and Weiner are fully supportive of the deal and the money involved.
Speaking on the deal, Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella said,
The LinkedIn team has grown a fantastic business centered around connecting the professionals all around the world, and with this deal, Microsoft will work together with the company to accelerate the growth not only of LinkedIn but Microsoft Office 365 and Dynamics as we seek to empower every person and organisation present on the planet.
Jeff Weiner, CEO of LinkedIn, said,
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.
This acquisition of LinkedIn by Microsoft is its biggest purchase till date. Some of the industry experts have even pegged it as one of the biggest tech deals in the industry so far, just behind the purchase of EMC by Dell and Compaq by HP.
The LinkedIn acquisition even leaves behind the much talked about 19 billion WhatsApp acquisition by Facebook a couple of years back.