Microsoft agrees to buy LinkedIn for US$26.2 billion

Microsoft agrees to buy LinkedIn for US$26.2 billion in its biggest-ever deal.

Microsoft Corp has agreed to buy LinkedIn Corp for US$26.2 billion (S$35.6 billion) in cash.
Microsoft Corp has agreed to buy LinkedIn Corp for US$26.2 billion (S$35.6 billion) in cash. PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - Microsoft Corp agreed to buy LinkedIn Corp for US$26.2 billion (S$35.6 billion) in cash, the companies said in a statement on Monday.

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

 

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

"I have always had a great admiration for LinkedIn," Mr 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.