London-Microsoft announced a $26.2 billion deal on Monday to acquire professional social platform LinkedIn for $196 per share.
Microsoft said: “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.”
Microsoft will finance the transaction primarily through the issuance of new indebtedness. Upon closing, Microsoft expects LinkedIn’s financials to be reported as part of Microsoft’s Productivity and Business Processes segment.
In addition, Microsoft also reiterated its intention to complete its existing $40 billion share repurchase authorization by Dec. 31, 2016, the same timeframe as previously committed.
“The LinkedIn team has grown a fantastic business centered on connecting the world’s professionals,” Nadella said.
“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.”
Notably, LinkedIn is the world’s largest and most valuable professional network and continues to build a strong and growing business. Over the past year, the company has launched many innovations that have resulted in increased membership, engagement and financial results, specifically19 percent growth year over year (YOY) to more than 433 million members worldwide.
LinkedIn’s core business is based today around recruitment ads and, to a lesser extent, premium subscriptions for users. The recruitment business (termed “Talent Solutions”) accounted for $2 billion of the company’s $3 billion in revenues in 2015.