The biggest acquisition of the decade is finally happening. Microsoft has today announced that it has entered into an agreement with the business-oriented social network LinkedIn. The Redmond giant will acquire LinkedIn in an all-cash deal offering $196 per share(which is very close to the pre-market trading price of LKND) to the company.
The all-cash transaction of the social network’s acquisition is valued at over $26.2 billion, including LinkedIn’s net cash. The transaction has been approved by both parties and is expected to close by the end of this calender year.
The enterprise and social networking service will maintain its distinct brand, culture and independence. Jeff Weiner will still remain the CEO of the company, however, will now report to the CEO of Microsoft, Satya Nadella. LinkedIn is the world’s largest and most valuable professional network and continues to build a strong and growing business by introducing new and better services, like an improved newsfeed, better Recruiter services and more.
Commenting on the huge acquisition, Satya Nadella, the Indian-origin CEO of Microsoft adds that,
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.
As mentioned earlier, the transaction has been unanimously approved by the Boards of Directors of both LinkedIn and Microsoft, but is still subject to the approval of LinkedIn’s shareholders. The company wants to make the satisfaction of its shareholders of its priority, by waiting for certain regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.
Jeff Weiner, the CEO of LinkedIn is ecstatic over this new-found partnership and adds that,
Just as we have changed the way the world connects to opportunity, this relationship with Microsoft, and the combination of their cloud and LinkedIn’s network, now gives us a chance to also 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.
The acquisition is a big news for both sides, as it now forms a synergy of two tech giants who can from this time forward could work hand and hand to expand Redmond’s reach into an enterprise social network – with a common mission to empower organizations. This acquisition finally places LinkedIn amidst the limelight, putting an end to any questions about its integrity and reach, with regard to the growth of other social networks.
This is a re-founding moment for LinkedIn, adds Hoffmann. This provides an opportunity for LinkedIn to use Microsoft’s cloud architecture to scale its product and support the new and combined business. Talking about how Microsoft will cover the cash payment of $26.2 billion, it will finance the transaction by issuance of new indebtness.
The enterprise social networking, LinkedIn is currently active in over 200 countries with 105 million monthly active users,and 433 million total registered users on the platform. The company had been tried very hard to on-board more users on its platform using various tactics, like launching a new app for college students, offer to schedule meetings using Cortana, a new Insight feature and much more, but in vain.
Both parties, Microsoft and LinkedIn will host a joint conference call with investors today at 8:45 a.m. Pacific Time/09:15 p.m. Indian Time to discuss this transaction. The news conference has been timed aptly to almost clash with the biggest extravaganza of the year, Apple’s Developer Conference — WWDc’16 — which airs live at 10:30 p.m IST.