Microsoft announced on Monday it had reached a deal to buy LinkedIn, the professional social-networking company, for $26.2 billion in cash.
Microsoft will pay $196 per LinkedIn share, a 50% premium to LinkedIn’s closing price on Friday.
— Microsoft (@Microsoft) June 13, 2016
In a blog post, Microsoft said LinkedIn will retain its own distinct brand, culture and independence, with its Chief Executive Jeff Weiner remaining at the helm, reporting to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella.
The deal is expected to close within the year.
“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.”
Shares of LinkedIn jumped 48% to $194.40 in premarket trading, while Microsoft shares edged 0.4% lower.
Microsoft is positioning the combination as the “world’s leading professional cloud” together with the “world’s leading professional network.”
More than 433 million people use LinkedIn worldwide to network, find jobs, and reconnect with old colleagues. Many of those LinkedIn users also pay for premium services to use the site.