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Microsoft to buy into LinkedIn for US$26.2 billion

Microsoft will be acquiring LinkedIn for US$196 per share in an all-cash transaction valued at US$26.2 billion, inclusive of LinkedIn’s net cash. Through the acquisition LinkedIn will retain its distinct brand, culture and independence while Jeff Weiner will remain CEO of LinkedIn, reporting to Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft.

The transaction has been unanimously approved by the Boards of Directors of both LinkedIn and Microsoft. The deal is expected to close this calendar year and is subject to approval by LinkedIn’s shareholders, the satisfaction of certain regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.

“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,” said Hoffman. “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.”

LinkedIn has over the past year, launched a new version of its mobile app that has led to increased member engagement; enhanced the LinkedIn newsfeed to deliver better business insights; acquired a leading online learning platform called Lynda.com to enter a new market; and rolled out a new version of its Recruiter product to its enterprise customers. These innovations have resulted in increased membership, engagement and financial results, specifically 19% growth year over year (YOY) to more than 433 million members worldwide and 9% growth YOY to more than 105 million unique visiting members per month. It has seen 49% growth YOY to 60% mobile usage

“The LinkedIn team has grown a fantastic business centered on connecting the world’s professionals,” Nadella (pictured) 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.”

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