Has there ever been a bigger story to start a week? Microsoft has announced that it is buying the professional networking platform LinkedIn, in a deal that is worth $26.2 billion.
An all-cash deal, at that.
While some were hoping that Microsoft would move in for Slack, but the technology giant purchased the professional social network that is used by more than 440 million people worldwide to find jobs and reconnect with old colleagues.
Many of which also pay for premium services to use the website.
The software titan shared the news on its official blog, revealing that while LinkedIn will become part of the Microsoft empire, the company will retain its distinct brand and independence. Current LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner will remain in charge and report to Satya Nadella, the head of Microsoft.
In terms of financials, the two companies agreed at a buyout for $196 a share of the social network, and the deal is expected to be completed before the end of 2016.
So basically, Microsoft now owns Yammer and LinkedIn, as well as a small part of Facebook.
Now, while some will say that the valuation is high at $26 billion, it all comes down to what plans Redmond has in store for LinkedIn.
We can expect basic stuff like closer integration with Office 365, and it certainly fits in with other Microsoft efforts like Dynamics CRM/ERP as well as overall advertising efforts.
Microsoft stock certainly felt an impact, though.
Trading of Microsoft shares was suspended shortly before the official announcement. And when they reopened prices fell quickly by more than 5% as it appears investors are not overly impressed with this expensive and expansive buyout.
There is even talk that Microsoft may lose its AAA rating over this, but that remains to be seen.