In a truly huge move, software giant Microsoft has acquired professional social network LinkedIn for $26.2bn in cash.
Microsoft will buy LinkedIn for $196 per share in cash.
LinkedIn’s CEO Jeff Weiner will report to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella.
‘Together we can accelerate the growth of LinkedIn, as well as Microsoft Office 365 and Dynamics as we seek to empower every person and organisation on the planet’
– SATYA NADELLA, MICROSOFT
“The LinkedIn team has grown a fantastic business centred on connecting the world’s professionals,” Nadella said.
“Together we can accelerate the growth of LinkedIn, as well as Microsoft Office 365 and Dynamics, as we seek to empower every person and organisation on the planet.”
LinkedIn’s biggest connection
LinkedIn has more than 433m members worldwide and has been growing 9pc a year with 105m unique monthly users.
Over 60pc of its user base is on mobile and mobile usage has been growing at 49pc a year.
‘Today is a re-founding moment for LinkedIn’
– REID HOFFMAN
“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,” Weiner said.
“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.
Microsoft will finance the transaction primarily through the issuance of new indebtedness.
“Today is a re-founding moment for LinkedIn. I see incredible opportunity for our members and customers and look forward to supporting this new and combined business,” said LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman.
“I fully support this transaction and the board’s decision to pursue it, and will vote my shares in accordance with their recommendation on it.”