Microsoft to Buy LinkedIn for $26.2 Billion

Microsoft to Buy LinkedIn for $26.2 Billion
Image credit: Reuters | Robert Galbraith
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Microsoft Corp. agreed to buy LinkedIn Corp. for $26.2 billion in its biggest-ever deal, combining the software giant's fast-growing cloud services business with the world's largest online network for professionals.

The offer of $196 per share represents a premium of 49.5 percent to LinkedIn's Friday closing price.

LinkedIn's shares were jumped 48 percent to $194.28 before the opening bell on Monday. Microsoft's shares were down 3.3 percent.

"Today is a re-founding moment for LinkedIn," Reid Hoffman, chairman of LinkedIn's board, said in a statement.

Jeff Weiner will remain chief executive of LinkedIn, reporting to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella.

"I have always had a great admiration for LinkedIn," Nadella said in a video on Microsoft's website. "I have been talking with Reid and Jeff for a while. ... I have been thinking about this for a long time." 

The deal is expected to close in 2016, the companies said in a joint statement.

Microsoft said it would issue new debt to fund the deal.

After the deal, LinkedIn will become part of Microsoft's productivity and business processes unit.

(Reporting by Supantha Mukherjee and Anya George Tharakan in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)

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