Microsoft to Acquire LinkedIn for $26.2 Billion in Cash

Microsoft LinkedIn

The Microsoft takeover deal will see LinkedIn retain its brand, culture, and independence, with CEO Jeff Weiner still seated at the helm.

In line with an agreement newly inked between both parties, Microsoft is set to acquire LinkedIn via a cash transaction valued at $26.2 billion. While inclusive of its net cash, the deal will see the latter retain its brand, culture, and independence, with Jeff Weiner still seated at the helm.

Chairman of the board, co-founder and controlling shareholder of LinkedIn, Reid Hoffman, and Weiner both support the transaction expected to close in 2016. Meanwhile, the aforementioned brand leader is said will report to Satya Nadella, Chief Executive Officer of Microsoft.

The group has over the past year launched a new version of its mobile app to increase member engagement, enhanced its news feed to improve business insights, acquired an online learning platform called Lynda.com to enter a new market, and rolled out an updated Recruiter product for its enterprise customers.

The innovations have resulted in increased membership, engagement and financial results, with a 19 percent growth to more than 433 million members worldwide, nine percent rise to more than 105 million unique visiting members per month, and 49 percent rise to 60 percent mobile usage, among other milestones.

“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 organization on the planet,” said Nadella.

Microsoft will finance the transaction through the issuance of new indebtedness. Upon closing, it expects LinkedIn’s financials to be reported as part of its own Productivity and Business Processes segment. Microsoft also reiterated its intention to complete its existing $40 billion share repurchase authorisation by 31 December 2016.