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Microsoft has announced its decision to acquire professional networking website LinkedIn for $26.2 billion in an all-cash deal which is billed as one of the largest acquisitions in the social media space.
LinkedIn will retain its distinct brand, culture and independence and Jeff Weiner will remain the CEO of LinkedIn, reporting to Indian-born Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, the tech giant said in a statement.
"The LinkedIn team has grown a fantastic business centred 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 organisation on the planet,” Nadella said.
Microsoft will pay $196 per LinkedIn share, a 50 percent premium to LinkedIn’s closing price on June 10. News brought cheers for LinkedIn as share rose 48 percent to $194.35 in pre-market trading on Monday. Microsoft shares, however, fell 2.9 per cent.
The agreement, expected to close within this year, works out to over $60 per LinkedIn user.
"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," added Reid Hoffman, chairman of the board, co-founder and controlling shareholder of LinkedIn.
"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," Hoffman added.
Recently, LinkedIn launched a new version of its mobile app that resulted in increased member engagement and enhanced the LinkedIn news feed to deliver better business insights.