Microsoft buys LinkedIn for $26.2 billion in cash

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Microsoft today announced that it is purchasing LinkedIn in an all-cash deal valued at $26.2 billion or $196 a share. Stockholders of the business networking site saw the price of their shares soar 47% this morning to $193. LinkedIn has more than 433 million members, most of them business professionals looking to network digitally without attending trade shows or flying countless hours for face-to-face chats. Many LinkedIn members have found new jobs and customers using the site.

Microsoft's press release stresses that LinkedIn "will retain its distinct brand, culture and independence." CEO Jeff Weiner will keep his title, reporting to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. Weiner told his employees in a note that "little is expected to change" and employees will have the same job titles and managers. There is one exception. LinkedIn personnel whose job it is to maintain the company's stock exchange listing will have to find a new job.

Most Wall Street analysts were positive about the transaction. Ivan Feinseth, CIO at investment firm Tigress Financial Partners, called it a great deal that allows Microsoft to become a bigger player in social platforms.

Microsoft shares are down $1.28 or 2.5% this morning at $50.20. The all cash-deal means that there won't be dilution of the software giant's stock. The deal is expected to close some time this calendar year.

source: Microsoft, CNBC

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