Microsoft Acquires LinkedIn For £18.5bn

Microsoft has bought LinkedIn for $26.2 billion (£18.5bn) today in a deal that was unanimously approved by the Boards of Directors of both LinkedIn and Microsoft.

Jeff Weiner will remain as CEO of LinkedIn, and will now report to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella.

“The LinkedIn team has grown a fantastic business centered on connecting the world’s professionals,” said Nadella.

The all-cash deal valued shares at $196 and should close before the end of the year.

Growth

“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.”

LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner said that the combination of Microsoft’s cloud business and LinkedIn’s professional network will change the way the business world works.

“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,” said Weiner.

Nadella said that the purchase brings the world’s leading cloud network together with the world’s leading professional networks, with LinkedIn to become part of Microsoft’s Productivity and Business Processes division.

Weiner added more information about the deal on his LinkedIn blog. He explained how he hopes LinkedIn will be able to massively scale the reach and engagement of the platform by using the network to power the social and identity layers of Microsoft’s ecosystem of over one billion customers.

Today’s announcement, that LinkedIn will be combining forces with Microsoft, marks the next step in our journey together, the next stepping stone toward realizing our mission and vision, and in remaining CEO of the company, the next chapter in the greatest professional experience of my life,” he said.

Microsoft also posted a video of Nadella and Weiner explaining reasons for the purchase:

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Ben Sullivan

Ben covers web and technology giants such as Google, Amazon, and Microsoft and their impact on the cloud computing industry, whilst also writing about data centre players and their increasing importance in Europe. He also covers future technologies such as drones, aerospace, science, and the effect of technology on the environment.

View Comments

  • Microsoft is paying too much. Although I said the same thing about Facebook's acquisition of WhatsApp. Here is my out-of-the-box tech M&A deal, Apple should buy Cisco for $200 billion, a 40% premium over Cisco's current market capitalization. Apple gets a great company with low P/E, high profit margin (even greater than Apple's), lots of cash and Apple could even finance it with debt. They have complimentary businesses in security, privacy, networking, cloud services and Internet of Things. Anyone want to build a M&A model?

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