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Microsoft Buys LinkedIn for $26.2b

Microsoft Buys LinkedIn for $26.2bMicrosoft Buys LinkedIn for $26.2b

Microsoft has announced that it will be purchasing social network LinkedIn in an all-cash deal worth $26.2 billion, or $196 per share. According to the company's press release, the deal is expected to close by the end of this calendar year.

Jeff Weiner will remain CEO of LinkedIn and report directly to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. The joint press release makes it clear that LinkedIn will "retain its distinct brand, culture and independence" as part of the deal, which has the full support of Weiner and LinkedIn chairman and co-founder, Reid Hoffman, Tech Spot reports.

The acquisition of LinkedIn gives Microsoft an immediate foothold in the social network space, which is an important area the company has not explored successfully in any significant way. LinkedIn is a clear market leader for professional networking and the company recently boasted more than 430 million members with a 19% year-on-year growth.

Purchasing LinkedIn for such a huge price has certainly surprised many people, particularly considering Microsoft's sketchy track record of large acquisitions that includes busts like Nokia and Skype.

However, LinkedIn could prove its worth to Microsoft, particularly as the website boasts a significant quantity of job listings and growth in many areas.

Considering LinkedIn's share price was sitting around $131 on Friday, Microsoft has paid a near-50% premium per-share to acquire the company. Looking at financial results from LinkedIn over the past few years, the company has not been profitable since 2013 and lost $166 million across 2015. Investors have reacted to the news by sending Microsoft's share price down by just over 3% in pre-market trading, following a trading halt earlier.

It's always interesting to see what are the companies' perspectives on this kind of acquisitions. Both Nadella and Weiner have posted the emails they sent to their respective employees after the announcement was made official.

Financialtribune.com