Microsoft acquires LinkedIn

Social network payday: Microsoft paying US$26.2b cash ($196 per share) for LinkedIn

Microsoft Corp and LinkedIn Corporation have announced 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. LinkedIn will retain its distinct brand, culture and independence. Jeff Weiner will remain CEO of LinkedIn, reporting to Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft. Reid Hoffman, chairman of the board, co-founder and controlling shareholder of LinkedIn, and Weiner both support this transaction. The transaction is expected to close this calendar year.

In an email to staff this morning, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said:

“We have a significant opportunity to accelerate LinkedIn’s growth and the value it brings to its members with Microsoft’s assets and scale. In fact, when Reid Hoffman, the founder of LinkedIn, and I spoke about the opportunity for us to come together, he called it a ‘re-founding’ moment for LinkedIn and an opportunity to reach the mission the company set out on 13 years ago.

“The opportunity for Office 365 and Dynamics is just as profound. Over the past decade we have moved Office from a set of productivity tools to a cloud service across any platform and device. This deal is the next step forward for Office 365 and Dynamics as they connect to the world’s largest and most valuable professional network. In essence, we can reinvent ways to make professionals more productive while at the same time reinventing selling, marketing and talent management business processes. I can’t wait to see what our teams dream up when we can begin working together once the deal closes, which we expect will happen this calendar year.”

Photo: LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and LinkedIn chairman and co-founder Reid Hoffman

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