Microsoft and LinkedIn on Monday announced that the Redmond giant will buy the social network for professionals in an all-cash transaction valued at $26.2 billion, a figure that includes LinkedIn's net cash. The transaction is expected to close by the end of 2016, and apart from regulatory approvals, will need approval by LinkedIn's shareholders.
Making the announcement in a joint statement on Monday, the companies said LinkedIn will continue with its own "brand, culture, and independence", and that LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner will continue in his role, but now report to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella.
Commenting on the acquisition, Nadella said, "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 organization on the planet."
Weiner also commented on the deal, and said, "Just as we have changed the way the world connects to opportunity, this relationship with Microsoft, and the combination of their cloud and LinkedIn's network, now gives us a chance to also change the way the world works. For the last 13 years, we've been uniquely positioned to connect professionals to make them more productive and successful, and I'm looking forward to leading our team through the next chapter of our story."
In the press statement, LinkedIn boasted it was the world's "largest and most valuable professional network", with over 433 million members globally, and 105 million unique visiting members a month. Apart from providing a platform for professionals to connect and communicate, the company also offers job search and recruitment functionality. The company recently also acquired Lynda.com, the online learning platform.