Microsoft is set to acquire social networking site LinkedIn for $196 per share in an all-cash transaction valued at $26.2 billion. Microsoft says LinkedIn will retain its “brand, culture, and independence.”
LinkedIn has more than 433 million members searching for jobs and connecting with other professionals. The purchase marks Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella’s first major acquisition since taking over the job in 2014.
“The LinkedIn team has grown a fantastic business centered on connecting the world’s professionals,” Nadella said. “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.”
The acquisition is being marketed as the “world’s leading professional cloud + world’s leading professional network.”
“Today is a re-founding moment for LinkedIn. I see incredible opportunity for our members and customers and look forward to supporting this new and combined business,” said LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman. “I fully support this transaction and the Board’s decision to pursue it, and will vote my shares in accordance with their recommendation on it.”
He will be hoping for a better outcome than the last major company Microsoft acquired. The transaction is expected to close by the end of this year, pending approval by LinkedIn’s shareholders and other regulatory groups.