Under the deal Redmond will write a cheque for $26.2 billion, inclusive of LinkedIn’s net cash. LinkedIn will retain its distinct brand, culture and independence.
Jeff Weiner will remain CEO of LinkedIn, reporting to Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft. Reid Hoffman, chairman of the board, co-founder and controlling shareholder of LinkedIn, and Weiner both fully support this transaction. The transaction is expected to close this calendar year.
Despite Facebook getting all the press, LinkedIn is the world’s largest and most valuable professional network and continues to build a strong and growing business. The company has managed to get itself onto mobiles, acquired a leading online learning platform called Lynda.com to enter a new market and rolled out a new version of its Recruiter product to its enterprise customers.
It has seen a 19 percent growth year over year (YOY) to more than 433 million members worldwide.
Microsoft sees it as a way of pushing its Microsoft Office 365 and bsuiness products.
The deal is expected to close this calendar year and is subject to approval by LinkedIn’s shareholders, the satisfaction of certain regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.
Microsoft will finance the transaction primarily through the issuance of new loan.