By business guide reporter
The company announced on Monday morning that it was buying LinkedIn for $26.2 billion and the deal is expected to be completed this calendar year.
Under the terms of the acquisition, LinkedIn will maintain its “distinct brand, culture, and independence” – similar to how Facebook handled its acquisition of WhatsApp – and Microsoft says LinkedIn cofounder and chairman Reid Hoffman and Weiner “both fully support” the purchase, with both boards signing off.
Wall Street had mixed reactions to Microsoft’s surprise announcement on Monday that it would buy LinkedIn for $26.2 billion. One firm, Jefferies, titled its instant analysis about the deal, “Large Acquisition, Large Valuation, Large Risk,” and compared it with past Microsoft acquisitions Skype, Nokia, and aQuantive. “Most would categorize at least two of those three prior acquisitions as missteps, and the third is difficult to assess given the Skype brand expansion within Microsoft,” wrote Jefferies. LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner will remain CEO of the social network for professionals, reporting directly to Microsoft CEO by
After this announcement, LinkedIn shares jumped more than 47% while Microsoft shares, which were halted in pre-market trading pending the news, have since fallen about 4%.
“This deal brings together the world’s leading professional cloud with the world’s leading professional network,” Nadella wrote in the email. “I have been learning about LinkedIn for some time while also reflecting on how networks can truly differentiate cloud services. It’s clear to me that the LinkedIn team has grown a fantastic business and an impressive network of more than 433 million professionals.”
Nadella went on to mention how Microsoft’s Office software suite could be combined with LinkedIn’s network in the future, such as the ability for Microsoft to serve up suggestions for a specialized expert through LinkedIn when its software recognizes you’re trying to complete a specific task.
LinkedIn will also be able to plug into Office to detect the kind of project you’re working on, which the social network will then use to surface relevant articles to infuse into your LinkedIn news feed.
“We are in pursuit of a common mission centered on empowering people and organizations. Along with the new growth in our Office 365 commercial and Dynamics businesses this deal is key to our bold ambition to reinvent productivity and business processes,” Nadella wrote.
“Think about it: How people find jobs, build skills, sell, market and get work done and ultimately find success requires a connected professional world. It requires a vibrant network that brings together a professional’s information in LinkedIn’s public network with the information in Office 365 and Dynamics. This combination will make it possible for new experiences such as a LinkedIn newsfeed that serves up articles based on the project you are working on and Office suggesting an expert to connect with via LinkedIn to help with a task you’re trying to complete.
“As these experiences get more intelligent and delightful, the LinkedIn and Office 365 engagement will grow. And in turn, new opportunities will be created for monetization through individual and organization subscriptions and targeted advertising.”