Morgan Stanley helped Microsoft beat out Goldman Sachs and unknown bidder on LinkedIn deal

Earlier this week, Microsoft made headlines by announcing that it would buy LinkedIn for $26.2 billion in all cash deal, which will be the company’s biggest acquisition ever. While the transaction is expected to close this calendar year, we already reported that Redmond would borrow money to pay for this acquisition instead of paying cash outright so as to mitigate the tax burden. However, according to a new report from Bloomberg, global financial services firm Morgan Stanley has been Microsoft’s adviser on the buyout while Goldman Sachs was counseling another unknown potential bidder:

Goldman Sachs was conflicted from working with Microsoft on the transaction, said the people, who didn’t name the other suitor and asked not to be identified discussing a private process.

Microsoft already had close ties with Goldman Sachs as the global investing bank previously advised former CEO Steve Ballmer on the previous acquisitions of Skype in 2011 and Nokia’s phone business in 2014. However, Vice president at advisory firm Freeman & Co. Jeff Nassof told Bloomberg that Morgan Stanley may earn $10 million to $20 million from the transaction. The deal will make the financial services corporation “the number one adviser in technology, media and telecommunications, or TMT, dealmaking this year” according to data compiled by Bloomberg: so far, the New-York based company has worked on more than $60 billion of TMT deals this year while Goldman Sachs is close behind with about $57 billion. Spokesmen for Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, LinkedIn and Microsoft declined to comment.

If you still struggling to understand why Microsoft’s Satya Nadella was ready to make such a big bet on the professional network, we invite you to read our previous editorial on the blockbuster announcement.

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