LinkedIn, a social network for professional activities, saw its shares jump by 47%, following Microsoft’s announcement of a $26.2 billion acquisition deal on Monday. LinkedIn, which has almost 8% of its users in India, will retain its distinct brand, culture and independence, and Jeff Weiner will remain CEO of LinkedIn, reporting to India-born Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, the tech giant said in a statement. The deal is expected to close this calendar year, subject to approval by LinkedIn’s shareholders. Microsoft acquiring LinkedIn is indeed a big step forward for the company as they are looking forward towards newer directions to expand beyond software.
Tech giant Microsoft has acquired LinkedIN for $26.2 billion in the largest acquisition it its history.
LinkedIn, which enables members to connect with similar-minded professionals and facilitates recruiting and job hunting, has carved out a social network with a distinct identity. That purchase price is a big premium on LinkedIn’s shares, which closed at $131.08 per share on Friday. “Together we can accelerate the growth of LinkedIn, as well as Microsoft Office 365 and Dynamics”.
Despite having a cash pile of about $92bn, Microsoft said it would pay for LinkedIn mostly by issuing new debt. While Microsoft Office 365 moved ahead of Google Apps for Work in market share a year ago, Google still represents stiff competition for Microsoft.
But this deal is about more than money, it is meant as a powerful signal of where Satya Nadella is now taking Microsoft.
LinkedIn shares soared 47%, or $61.50, to $192.60 in NY following the announcement of the deal.
Shares in LinkedIn, which floated in May 2011, have fallen by more than 40 per cent this year.
While the price tag raised a few eyebrows, there is no denying that LinkedIn is a massive buy for Microsoft with its more than 433 million members, 105 million unique visitors every month, and over 7 million active job listings on their site.
By integrating LinkedIn with Azure, Microsoft could give developers building solutions on its Infrastructure-as-a-Service cloud – companies such as SkyKick – a powerful set of capabilities that differentiate them in the market, he said.
Unlike social media, LinkedIn has a more lucrative audience and potential workforce.
“I have been thinking about this for a long time”, he said.
LinkedIn now has over 430 million members, each using the service to find jobs, make business connections or publish content.