‘Microsoft’ announced a $26.2 billion deal to acquire professional social platform ‘LinkedIn’ for $196 per share, way over its pre-announcement market value ($131.08). Jeff Weiner will stay on as CEO of LinkedIn, and will report to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. The deal was unanimously approved by both companies’ boards, and is expected to close by the end of the year.
The acquisition is still subject to approval by LinkedIn shareholders and regulators.
According to the press statements, Nadella said:
“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.”
Nothing worrisome for the LinkedIn employees, as per the CEO:
Weiner said “little is expected to change” and employees will have the same titles and managers. It should be business as usual. We have the same mission and vision; we have the same culture and values; and I’m still the CEO of LinkedIn.”
According to industry experts, through this move, Microsoft can provide this social fabric which is going to be quite important for the network economy. For LinkedIn, it also gives them a chance to have a jump start to move the business more rapidly.
On the other hand, there have been apprehensions on how this deal will take MSFT’s business forward. The company does not has a very good track record in terms of acquiring businesses, something evident from the Nokia deal.
In fact, MSFT has never been a massively successful company when it comes to social networking — although it smartly invested in Facebook before it went public, and apparently interested at one point in trying to make a bid to buy Slack for $8 billion.
But the LinkedIn’s social network might give it a significant foothold in this area, which already has 433 mn users in 200 countries.