Microsoft has announced today that it will acquire LinkedIn for US$26.2 billion – or US$196 per share – in an all-cash deal. The move will allow Microsoft to leverage LinkedIn’s 433 million users to build out new services for enterprise, and drive engagement to its other enterprise cloud services like Office 365 and Dynamics CRM.
According to Microsoft, LinkedIn will retain its independence and branding. LinkedIn’s CEO Jeff Weiner will also remain with the company, but now will directly report to Microsoft’s CEO, Satya Nadella.
“The LinkedIn team has grown a fantastic business centered on connecting the world’s professionals,” Nadella said in a statement. “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.”
Taking a look at the SEC filing on the deal, it appears that Microsoft has big plans with LinkedIn and is looking to heavily integrate it amongst its existing offerings. For example, it pitches integration with Office 365 by having “just in time social learning” through video learning website Lydia.com (which LinkedIn owns).
Microsoft also sees LinkedIn being integrated with Cortana. According to its SEC filing, “In the future, Cortana will also know your entire professional network to connect dots on your behalf so you can stay one step ahead.”
The deal has been approved by both LinkedIn and Microsoft’s boards, but it still has to get regulatory approval from the United States, the European Union and other countries.
However, the deal has the seal of approval from one of the co-founders of LinkedIn, Reid Hoffman, who said in a statement that the deal was an “incredible opportunity for our members and customers.”
“Today is a re-founding moment for LinkedIn,” he said.