BY Fraser Tennant
In a monumental deal which combines the world's leading platform and productivity company with the world’s leading professional network, Microsoft Corp is to acquire LinkedIn Corporation in a transaction valued at $26.2bn.
Under the terms of the definitive agreement, Microsoft will acquire LinkedIn for $196 per share in an all-cash transaction, with the professional network retaining its distinct brand, culture and independence. In addition, Jeff Weiner will remain as CEO of LinkedIn and will report to Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft.
The world's largest and most valuable professional network, over the past year LinkedIn’s innovations, have resulted in an increase in membership, engagement and financial results, including: (i) 19 percent growth year over year (YOY) to more than 433 million members worldwide; (ii) 9 percent growth YOY to more than 105 million unique visiting members per month; (iii) 49 percent growth YOY to 60 percent mobile usage; (iv) 34 percent growth YOY to more than 45 billion quarterly member page views; and (v) 101 percent growth YOY to more than 7 million active job listings.
"The LinkedIn team has grown a fantastic business centred on connecting the world's professionals," said Mr Nadella. "Together we can accelerate the growth of LinkedIn, as well as Microsoft Office 365 and Dynamics as we seek to empower every person and organisation on the planet."
Microsoft has said that it will finance the deal transaction primarily through the issuance of new indebtedness and, upon closing, expects LinkedIn's financials to be reported as part of Microsoft's Productivity and Business Processes segment.
"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," said Mr Weiner. "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."
Unanimously approved by the boards of directors of both LinkedIn and Microsoft, the deal is subject to approval by LinkedIn's shareholders, the satisfaction of certain regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.
The Microsoft/LinkedIn transaction is expected to close by the end of 2016.