Earlier today, Microsoft announced
that it has agreed to acquire professional networking platform LinkedIn in an all-cash deal worth $26.2 billion. Microsoft will pay $196 per share, representing a lofty 50 percent premium over the price that LinkedIn’s shares closed at last Friday.
After a very successful first couple of years as a public company, LinkedIn had recently fallen out of favor with investors after giving a cautious outlook for the near-term future. In February, the company’s share price plummeted by more than 40 percent in a single day and, until today's news, had not recovered from the sell-off.
The deal would “bring together the world’s leading professional cloud with the world’s leading professional network”, Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella said in a letter to his employees. LinkedIn will maintain its brand and the company’s CEO Jeff Weiner will remain at the helm of the social network for professionals.