Microsoft has announced today that it is buying LinkedIn or $196 per share in an all-cash transaction valued at $26.2 billion. The transaction is expected to close this calendar year and LinkedIn will retain its distinct brand, culture and independence, with Jeff Weiner remaining CEO of LinkedIn and reporting directly to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella.
LinkedIn is currently the leading professional network with more than 400 million users and currently enjoys a 19 percent growth year over year (YOY) according to the press release. Nadella, an active user and publisher on the professionnal network explained why this acquisition could help the company
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.
For a little perspective, Microsoft's latest big acquisition was Minecraft developer Mojang for a cool $2.5 billion, and this latest acquisition is actually way more expensive than the $8.5 billion that Microsoft paid to buy Skype back in 2011. Nadella seems definitely ready to make big bets to ensure that Microsoft remains the king of productivity and LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner seems aligned with the Redmond giant's ambitions:
"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."
Microsoft and LinkedIn will hold a joint conference call today (June 13th) with Satya Nadella, Jeff Weiner and Microsoft CFO Amy Hood and General Counsel Brad Smith. The call will be webcast starting at 8:45am PDT at https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/Investor.