Microsoft nets LinkedIn for $US26.2 billion

LinkedIn has reaffirmed its importance in the business marketplace, inking a major deal with tech behemoth Microsoft. The agreement will see the business networking site purchased for $US26.2 billion, or $US196 per share.

AdNews reports that Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella says of his company’s plans for the website: “The LinkedIn team has grown a fantastic business centred on connecting the world’s professionals. 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.”

It is expected that LinkedIn’s network will merge with Microsoft’s cloud, with the former maintaining its current staff members, including Jeff Weiner as CEO. Weiner comments that this move is the next step for the burgeoning business tool, which currently has 433 million members worldwide. “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,” he says.

LinkedIn co-founder and executive chairman Reid Hoffman is also fully supportive of the manoeuvre: “Today is a refounding moment for LinkedIn. I see incredible opportunity for our members and customers and look forward to supporting this new and combined business,” Hoffman says. “I fully support this transaction and the Board’s decision to pursue it, and will vote my shares in accordance with their recommendation on it.”