Microsoft announced on Monday its acquisition of LinkedIn, in a deal valued at $26.2 billion, or $196 per share. The offer values LinkedIn about 91 times earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, according to Bloomberg, the highest multiple of any takeover valued at more than $5 billion this year.
The deal is also the largest under the tenure of Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. LinkedIn will continue to operate as its own brand with CEO Jeff Weiner to remain CEO.
In a letter to Microsoft employees on Monday, Nadella outlined the vision for the LinkedIn acquisition.
“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. Think about it: How people find jobs, build skills, sell, market and get work done and ultimately find success requires a connected professional world,” he said. “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.”
Of course there is a much larger strategy at play. According to a report by WindowsITPro, “this purchase is all about the data and what larger insights Microsoft can bring to the members of LinkedIn and to Microsoft’s continued embrace of big data.”
Nadella said that as Weiner remains LinkedIn CEO, he’ll report to Nadella and join its senior leadership team.
“In essence, what I’ve asked Jeff to do is manage LinkedIn with key performance metrics that accrue to our overall success,” Nadella said. “He’ll decide from there what makes sense to integrate and what does not. We know that near term there will be no changes in who reports to whom so no reporting relationships at Microsoft will change in that regard. This approach is designed to keep the LinkedIn team focused on driving results while simultaneously partnering on product integration plans with the Office 365 and Dynamics teams.”
In premarket trading on Monday, LinkedIn shares surged 49 percent to $194.63 while Microsoft fell 3.7 percent to $49.50, Bloomberg reported.
Original article appeared here: Microsoft to Acquire LinkedIn: What You Need to Know