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LinkedIn to acquire online education company lynda.com for $1.5 billion

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In one of the biggest development in ed-tech space, LinkedIn Corp. has agreed to acquire the goto resource Lynda.com Inc. in a deal valued at $1.5 billion, continuing the professional-networking service’s expansion beyond its roots.

Lynda.com was founded in 1995 by Lynda Weinman, a Web graphics and design veteran, and her husband, illustrator-designer Bruce Heavin.

Lynda.com, based in Carpinteria, California, offers courses in business, technology and creative skills for both individuals and organizations with more than 5,700 courses and 255,000 video tutorials for professional development. Subscription fees for its courses range between $250 and $375 per year, according to its website.

LinkedIn has agreed to pay 52% cash and 48% stock for the privately-held company and expects the deal to close during the second quarter of this year.

Jeff Weiner, LinkedIn’s chief executive officer, has been expanding the company beyond its roots as a portal for recruiters and job seekers. To attract users more often, the Mountain View, California-based company has bolstered content publishing, including contributions from such people as Google Inc. Chairman Eric Schmidt, personal-finance commentator Suze Orman and Arianna Huffington, the founder of the Huffington Post.

Lynda.com’s courses “make it possible for anybody to easily and effectively acquire a skill needed to get their first job, get a promotion, land a business deal or advance their career,” Weiner said in a blog post Thursday.

In a separate blog post by LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner talks about as to how this acquisition will benefit LinkedIn. Weiner also talks about how the acquisition will allow access to high-quality, skills-based learning-and-development Lynda.com content, to every LinkedIn member and a fundamental part of our platform.

Weiner further says,

Through its singular focus on programming and content quality, we concluded that lynda.com had developed the best approach for LinkedIn in the industry.

Most lynda.com employees are expected to join LinkedIn as part of the acquisition. The company, which was founded in 1995, employs over 500 people.

LinkedIn shares were up about 1.5 pct in light premarket trading on Thursday morning.The stock is up 49% over the last 12 months.

Lynda had recently raised a whopping $186 Million and had outlined how it planned to use that fresh capital to accelerate acquisitions, growth and new content initiatives, and to continue to build world-class team that supports those efforts. The acquisition part might be under the rugs now, considering Lynda itself has been bought by LinkedIn itself.



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