Microsoft announced on Monday it would be acquiring LinkedIn in an all-cash deal of $26.2 billion, giving its ‘social’ business a major boost.
This is the largest acquisition in Microsoft’s history, and Wall Street Journal says the tech giant is betting that the professional social network can rev up its software offerings despite recent struggles by both companies.
The software giant will pay $196 a share – a premium of almost 50 per cent to Friday’s closing share price.
The deal will help Microsoft boost sales of its business and email software.
Microsoft said in a statement that LinkedIn would retain its “distinct brand, culture and independence” though it will become a part of Microsoft’s productivity and business processes segment. LinkedIn’s CEO Jeff Weiner will report to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella.
Experts say LinkedIn’s wider social network, pegged as it is to groups of employees and employers, will give Microsoft a sales channel to sell more of its products, and will serve as a complement to those that it already offers for collaboration and communication.
“It’s really the coming together of the professional cloud and the professional network,” Mr. Nadella told The Wall Street Journal in an interview on Monday.