Microsoft to acquire professional social network LinkedIn for $26.2bn

Microsoft has just announced that it is going to acquire professional social network LinkedIn for $196 per share in an all-cash transaction which is valued at $26.2bn which includes LinkedIn's net cash. The transaction is expected to close by the end of this year.

Jeff Weiner will continue to remain the CEO of LinkedIn, and will be reporting to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. Speaking on the acquisition, Nadella said, "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."

Weiner said that with the combination of LinkedIn's social network and Microsoft's cloud would give LinkedIn 'a chance to 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," said Weiner.

The transaction has been unanimously approved by the Board of Directors of both companies.

Image: Google Finance - Yahoo Finance - Reuters

Image: Google Finance - Yahoo Finance - Reuters

LinkedIn shares which had dropped 42 percent this year, have suddenly jumped to 48 percent to $194.35. Microsoft shares on the other hand, fell 2.9 percent according to the Wall Street Journal.

Image: Google Finance - Yahoo Finance - Reuters

Image: Google Finance - Yahoo Finance - Reuters

Microsoft has been making some big acquisitions off late. It had bought out Nokia Corp's mobile phone business at $7.2 billion in 2013; in 2011, Microsoft bought Skype for $8.5 billion; it also bought Mojang AB, the maker of video games such as 'Minecraft' for $2.5 billion in 2014.

Since Nadella took over as CEO, LinkedIn is definitely a major aquisition. Microsoft has also made acquisitions such as the Sunrise calendar app at $100 million and to-do app Wunderlist between $100-$200 million in 2015.

Microsoft hasn't stated how it is indeed going to use LinkedIn, but has stated that the professional social network will continue operating as it is.

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