Microsoft Corp said on Monday it would buy professional social platform LinkedIn Corp in an all-cash transaction for $26.2 billion. The deal includes LinkedIn's net cash and values it at $196 per share.
The boards of Microsoft and LinkedIn have approved the deal, which is likely to be closed this calendar year, and is subject to certain regulatory approvals, according to an official statement from Microsoft.
After the transaction, LinkedIn would retain its distinct brand and Jeff Weiner would remain the CEO of the social media company.
Weiner said in the statement: "Just as we have changed the way the world connects to opportunity, this relationship with Microsoft, and the combination of their cloud and LinkedIn's network, now gives us a chance to also change the way the world works."
LinkedIn recently acquired a leading online learning platform called Lynda.com and rolled out a new version of its Recruiter product to its enterprise customers.
Microsoft will fund the acquisition through the issuance of new indebtedness.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said in the statement after the deal announcement: "Together we can accelerate the growth of LinkedIn, as well as Microsoft Office 365 and Dynamics as we seek to empower every person and organization on the planet."
After the closure of the deal, Microsoft expects the acquisition to have approximately 1 percent dilution to its non-GAAP earnings per share for fiscal year 2017 and become accretive to the company's non-GAAP earnings per share in fiscal year 2019.
Morgan Stanley is exclusive financial advisor to Microsoft on the transaction, and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP is legal advisor. Qatalyst Partners and Allen & Company LLC are financial advisors to LinkedIn, while Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati is legal advisor.