Microsoft has announced that it plans to acquire LinkedIn for $26.2 billion. The deal will be an all cash transaction and Microsoft has valued LinkedIn at $196 per share. Microsoft notes that social networking site will “retain its distinct brand, culture and independence.” Jeff Weiner will remain as the CEO of LinkedIN and will report directly to the CEO of Microsoft, Satya Nadella. The deal is expected to close by the end of the year.
Nadella said in a statement, “The LinkedIn team has grown a fantastic business centered 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.”
Microsoft says that the deal has been “unanimously” approved by the Board of directors of both the companies. However, the deal is subject to approval by LinkedIn’s shareholders, certain regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.
The amount being paid by Microsoft to acquire LinkedIn is much higher than the amount the company paid to purchase Nokia a few years back. The company paid nearly $7.2 billion to acquire the Finnish smartphone manufacturer and the deal included all of Nokia’s Devices and Services business, Nokia’s patents, and the licensing and use of Nokia’s mapping services.