June 13, 2016 Last Updated 9:03 am

Microsoft acquires LinkedIn in $26.2 billion deal

The acquisition price of $196 per share represents a huge premium over LinkedIn’s stock price of $133 per share, though the company’s value fell sharply earlier this year

Microsoft today announced that it would acquire LinkedIn is a deal valued at $26.2 billion. Jeff Weiner will remain CEO of LinkedIn, reporting to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella.


Left to right: Jeff Weiner, Satya Nadella, Reid Hoffman

The Redmond, Washington software company will integrate LinkedIn into Office 365.

“Along with the new growth in our Office 365 commercial and Dynamics businesses this deal is key to our bold ambition to reinvent productivity and business processes,” Nadella said in a memo to Microsoft staff posted by The Verge.

“Think about it: How people find jobs, build skills, sell, market and get work done and ultimately find success requires a connected professional world. It requires a vibrant network that brings together a professional’s information in LinkedIn’s public network with the information in Office 365 and Dynamics. This combination will make it possible for new experiences such as a LinkedIn newsfeed that serves up articles based on the project you are working on and Office suggesting an expert to connect with via LinkedIn to help with a task you’re trying to complete,” Nadella said.

“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 Reid Hoffman, LinkedIn co-founder and chairman of the board. “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.”

LinkedIn has grown its B2B services and influence, becoming an important competitor to many B2B publishers, and this move will only expand on that.

The acquisition price represents a huge premium over LinkedIn’s current stock price – the acquisition is equal to $196 per share, while the stock is currently trading at around $133 per share. But the company had seen its stock priced above $250 within the past year, but the stock tumbled in February after LinkedIn offered a weak forecast for growth and the company reported a $8.4 million loss in the final quarter of last year. That sharp decline may have convinced the company that it was time to sell-out. But its final sales price may also have resulted in a bidding war from the company among suitors.

The question some now have is whether this will lead to an acquisitions war among the techs. Some investors obviously think so as they have driven up the value of Twitter stock this morning by nearly 6 percent after the news of the LinkedIn acquisition broke.

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