Microsoft agrees to buy LinkedIn for $26.2 billion in its biggest-ever deal. Bobbi Rebell reports.
LinkedIn couldn't say no to a $26.2 billion takeover offer from Microsoft. It's Microsoft's biggest-ever deal, combining its fast-growing cloud services business with LinkedIn's online network of 433 million professionals. The offer of $196 per share represents a premium of almost 50 percent to LinkedIn's Friday closing price, and the stock shot up fifty percent on the news. Microsoft stock went in the opposite direction. Bob O'Donnell of TECHnalysis Research: (SOUNDBITE) BOB O'DONNELL, PRESIDENT, FOUNDER, CHIEF ANALYST, TECHNALYSIS RESEARCH, (ENGLISH) SAYING: "Well, it's an expensive deal, but, I think, it does make some sense in the long term. Microsoft wants to become more and more of a services company, and, I think, what they are seeing with LinkedIn, is the opportunity to create some interesting services, which, oh, by the way, they can LinkedIn with Office 365, and some of their other products. So, I think, they are trying to pull together a whole business solution for contacts, as well as documents, and using all that data to make people more productive." Microsoft said it would issue new debt to fund its acquisition. LinkedIn, which has been struggling with slowing growth in recent quarters, gets the opportunity to tap into Microsoft's more than a billion Office suite software users. The company will remain a separate entity and will still be headed by CEO Jeff Weiner.