Tech Giant Microsoft has agreed to buy professional networking platform LinkedIn for 26.2 billion dollars- in cash.
Microsoft’s big move in the social media segment
Microsoft will acquire LinkedIn for $196 per share in an all-cash deal valued at $26.2 billion, inclusive of LinkedIn’s net cash, Microsoft said in a statement. LinkedIn will retain its distinct brand, culture and independence, it added.
The transaction is expected to close this calendar year. “The LinkedIn team has grown a fantastic business centred 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 organisation on the planet,” Microsoft chief Satya Nadella said.
Jeff Weiner will remain CEO of LinkedIn, reporting to Mr. Nadella. Reid Hoffman, Chairman of the board, co-founder and controlling shareholder of LinkedIn, and Weiner both fully support this transaction, the statement said. In India, LinkedIn has about 650 employees and R&D operations in Bengaluru.
LinkedIn started out in the living room of co-founder Hoffman in 2002 and was officially launched on May 5 in 2003.
LinkedIn has seen 19 per cent growth year-on-year to more than 433 million members worldwide while quarterly member page views rose 34 per cent to over 45 billion. Over 92 million users came from Asia and the Pacific region.