Microsoft (MSFT) 's purchase of career networking site LinkedIn (LNKD) for about $26.2 billion is one of the biggest tech transactions of the year and a major bet by the industry behemoth on productivity.
Microsoft announced Monday that it has agreed to acquire LinkedIn for approximately $26.2 billion, or $196 per share, in cash. The transaction is expected to close this calendar year. Post-transaction, Jeff Weiner will remain chief executive of LinkedIn and report to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella.
The transaction has been unanimously approved by the boards of directors of LinkedIn and Microsoft. LinkedIn chairman, co-founder and controlling shareholder Reid Hoffman and Weiner both support the transaction.
For Nadella, who was named as CEO of the Redmond, Wash.-based tech behemoth in 2014, LinkedIn marks his first major deal as the chief executive.
"I've been talking with Reid and Jeff for a while. And the fact that it came together now is fantastic. But believe me, I've been thinking about this for a long time," Nadella said in a video posted on Monday.
Noting that he's a LinkedIn user and publisher, he explained, "I'm a deep believer in productivity tools and communication tools because that's what empowers people to be able to be great at their job."
Analysts largely applauded the move, saying it will help the company shift its focus to mobile applications and the cloud. "Microsoft got a good deal," said Cramer, Monday, adding that LinkedIn is "uniquely social, mobile, cloud" and will be a terrific jump starter for all the platforms that the software giant needs.