Microsoft Buys LinkedIn For $26.2 Billion

Sahash Khanal - Author
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Jun. 14 2016, Updated 2:02 a.m. ET

Microsoft announced on Monday that they had reached an agreement to acquire LinkedIn for $26.2 billion in cash. According to the deal, the software giants will pay LinkedIn $196 per share, a 50 percent premium over LinkedIn’s closing price on Friday, in an all-cash transaction. This is inclusive of the professional networking site’s net cash. The deal sent LinkedIn’s shares soaring by 48 percent to $194.00 on the New York Stock Exchange, while Microsoft’s shares are down four percent.

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The deal, which was unanimously approved by the board members of both LinkedIn and Microsoft, is expected to close by the end of 2016. It is still subject to a number of things, including an approval of LinkedIn shareholders, certain regulatory approvals, and other closing conditions. Reid Hoffman, chairman of LinkedIn’s board and its controlling shareholder, and CEO Jeff Weiner both stated that they were fully in favor of the deal.

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“Today is a re-founding moment for LinkedIn” – 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

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Weiner further assured that, even after its acquisition by Microsoft, the world’s largest professional network will still be maintaining its “distinct brand, culture, and independence.” Weiner is set to continue his duties as CEO, and will be reporting directly to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. In a statement made to LinkedIn employees, Weiner said that Nadella’s vision to operate LinkedIn as a fully independent entity within Microsoft, a model used with great success by companies like YouTube, Instagram and WhatsApp, was a crucial factor in making the decision. He further added that “little is expected to change,” and employees will have the same titles and responsibilities.

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Nadella announced the news to Microsoft employees via email on Monday morning.

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“This deal brings together the world’s leading professional cloud with the world’s leading professional network. I have been learning about LinkedIn for some time while also reflecting on how networks can truly differentiate cloud services. It’s clear to me that the LinkedIn team has grown a fantastic business and an impressive network of more than 433 million professionals.”

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