Microsoft Acquires LinkedIn for $26.2 Billion
CBJ – Microsoft is acquiring professional social media platform LinkedIn for an astounding $26.2 billion, or $196 per share.
Upon confirmation of the deal LinkedIn shares skyrocketed by 47% while Microsoft’s stock was down 3%.
Jeff Weiner will stay on as CEO of LinkedIn and will report to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. The transaction 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.
“The LinkedIn team has grown a fantastic business centered on connecting the world’s professionals,” Nadella said in a statement. “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.”
In a statement to LinkedIn employees, Weiner said “little is expected to change” and employees will have the same titles and managers.
“The one exception: For those members of the team whose jobs are entirely focused on maintaining LinkedIn’s status as a publicly traded company, we’ll be helping you find your next play,” Weiner said. “In terms of everything else, 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.”
The biggest individual beneficiary of the deal is LinkedIn’s billionaire founder and chairman Reid Hoffman, whose fortune jumped more than $800 million. Prior to the deal, Hoffman’s estimated net worth was $2.9 billion. It now stands at about $3.7 billion.
LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner’s 408,000 shares in the company are now worth $78 million. He also owns more than 650,000 options that are worth about $120 million at the $192 stock price.
LinkedIn is a business-oriented social networking website designed primarily for professionals, which was founded in December, 2002 by five people, including Hoffman.