Microsoft buys career network Linkedin for $26 billion

Microsoft wants to expand its position in companies with the purchase of the Linkedin career network. Linkedin is valued at a total of 26.2 billion dollars, the two companies announced on Monday.


This sum also includes Linkedin's cash reserves. They stood at a good three billion dollars at the end of the first quarter. Microsoft is offering 196 dollars per share. That's a whopping 49.5 percent premium to Friday's closing price of $131.08. Compared to prices last year, however, it's still something of a bargain: Linkedin stock had been trading above $260 at times. Investors were unconvinced by the deal in an initial reaction, with Microsoft shares falling around four percent at the start of U.S. trading. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said the Linkedin team had built a "fantastic business." "Together, we can accelerate growth." He also said the office software Office 265 and Dynamics would grow with the purchase - "because we want to equip every person and every business in the world with it."

Microsoft needs new fields

Nadella has led Microsoft since February 2014 and gave the company a new direction. Traditionally, Microsoft lived primarily from selling Windows software for PCs as well as its office programs. But with the shrinking of the PC market, the Windows money machine has become less reliable. And for Office, there is favorable competition from Google, among others, as well as other vendors targeting mobile devices. Nadella is relying on subscriptions instead of purchased software and stated the goal of making Microsoft's online services available on all platforms - including, for example, Apple's iPhones and iPads and devices running Google's Android system.

Everything remains the same at Linkedin

Linkedin, launched in 2003, is one of the veterans among online services. The company has been listed on the stock exchange since spring 2011. The career network is to retain its brand and operate independently under the umbrella of the Microsoft Group. Linkedin CEO Jeff Weiner will keep his job and report directly to Nadella. Linkedin has relied on data analytics to help with recruiting for years. Most recently, the integrated blog platform, through which well-known entrepreneurs such as Virgin founder Richard Branson publish articles, also became important. On Linkedin, users can introduce themselves in professional profiles, look for new jobs and communicate with other members. Companies also use the portal to search for employees. In the first quarter of 2016, the global user base climbed from 414 to 433 million. Per month, 105.5 million of them were active. In German-speaking countries, Linkedin exceeded the eight million member mark. Competitor Xing has over ten million members in Germany, Austria and Switzerland - but is largely limited to this region as well. (SDA)

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