Microsoft and LinkedIn 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.
The deal will represent one of the biggest in Microsoft’s history.
LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional network, 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 fully support this transaction. The transaction is expected to close in 2016.
Over the past year, Linkdin has launched a new version of its mobile app that has led to increased member engagement; acquired a leading online learning platform called Lynda.com to enter a new market; and rolled out a new version of its Recruiter product to its enterprise customers. These have resulted in increased membership, engagement and financial results, specifically:
- 19 percent growth year over year to more than 433 million members worldwide
- 9 percent growth to more than 105 million unique visiting members per month
- 49 percent growth to 60 percent mobile usage
- 34 percent growth to more than 45 billion quarterly member page views
- 101 percent growth to more than 7 million active job listings
“The LinkedIn team has grown a fantastic business centered 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 organization on the planet.”
The transaction has been unanimously approved by the Boards of Directors of both LinkedIn and Microsoft. The deal is expected to close this calendar year and is subject to approval by LinkedIn’s shareholders, the satisfaction of certain regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.