According to Wall Street Journal’s report about the acquisition, Microsoft is set to part with the figure north of $26 billion at a share price of $196, which comes in at a 50 percent premium to the closing share price of LinkedIn Corporation as of Friday. As the news of the acquisition started to reach the market’s ears, LinkedIn’s stock saw a sudden surge in demand, and at the time of writing, LNKD stock is trading at $192.56 after gaining a whopping $61.48 so far. The rise in valuation of LinkedIn stock after the acquisition news is such that it has even managed to exceed the 42 percent decline in price this year.
On the other hand, MSFT stock has declined 2.68% after the news broke out today, and it is currently trading at around $50. The acquisition of LinkedIn is the biggest of its kind for Microsoft ever, and CEO Satya Nadella has said that the social network for professionals will retain its brand image, organizational culture, and independence that it has always enjoyed. Moreover, Jeff Weiner will retain his position as LinkedIn Chief Executive Officer, in a bid to make it a smooth transition and also to refrain from fixing something that isn’t broken.
For Microsoft, LinkedIn’s acquisition is the window of opportunity to position its products more firmly and to expand the markets all over the world through LinkedIn’s vast data and network. Analysts have even said that the Redmond firm could manage to do so while generating revenue from the platform; something LinkedIn has not been able to achieve on its own so far.
When LinkedIn lodged for an IPO in 2011, it was the biggest initial public offering since Google’s in 2004. The acquisition could be worth every penny as it represents all the potential to firmly push Microsoft’s products, and especially Office365, to a much wider audience.