Huge news today in the world of M&A in enterprise and social networking services: Microsoft has announced that it is acquiring LinkedIn, the social network for professionals with some 433 million users, for $26 billion, or $196 per share, in cash. The transaction has already been approved by both boards, but it must still get regulatory and other approvals.
If for some reason the deal does not go through, LinkedIn will have to pay Microsoft a $725 million termination fee, according to Microsoft’s SEC filing detailing the merger.
The $196/share offer is a big hike on its closing price from Friday, $131.08. (And in premarket trading, unsurprisingly, LinkedIn’s stock has nearly crept up 64% to reach the share price MSFT is paying. Microsoft’s price is down 4% to $49.66 in pre-market trading.)
LinkedIn is keeping its branding and product, and it will become a part of Microsoft’s productivity and business processes segment. LinkedIn’s CEO Jeff Weiner will report to Satya Nadella.