Computer software giant, Microsoft Corporation, said on Tuesday it would acquire business-oriented social networking service, LinkedIn Corporation, for $26.2 billion.
It said that the move was to seek new growth opportunities for its business productivity tools.
Microsoft, once the world’s No. 1 software giant for personal computers (PCs), is a multinational technology company, with headquarters in Richmond, Washington.
Under a definitive agreement, Microsoft will buy LinkedIn, based in Mountain View, California, for $196 per share in cash and the transaction is expected to close this year.
Microsoft’s Chief Executive Officer Satya Nadella said: “The deal is to bring together the world’s leading professional cloud with the world’s leading professional network.”
The deal is the biggest since he assumed the position in early 2014.
Microsoft, which has moved its Office application suite from a set of personal computer productivity tools to a cloud service known as Office 365 and now has 1.2 billion users, finds a connection with LinkedIn.
It runs an online network connecting more than 400 million professionals worldwide.
“We are in pursuit of a common mission centred on empowering people and organisations,” Nadella explained in an email to employees.
“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.
“Microsoft Dynamics offers businesses an integrated productivity solution,” Nadella said.
Nadella said that when people found jobs, “build skills, sell, market and get work done, they need a connected professional world which brings together a professional’s information in LinkedIn’s public network”.
On LinkedIn’s growth and strength, Microsoft listed a number of parameters registered in the past year, including 19 per cent growth year-over-year to more than 433 million members worldwide.
It would also have nine per cent growth to more than 105 million unique visiting members per month, 49 per cent growth to 60 per cent mobile usage and 34 per cent growth to more than 45 billion quarterly member-page views.
Also included in the parameter is 101 per cent growth to more than seven million active job listings.