Microsoft To Acquire LinkedIn For $26.2B

Microsoft will acquire LinkedIn for $26.2 billion, the two companies announced Monday.

The $196 per share price represents a hefty premium over LinkedIn's closing price Friday of $131.08.

In a news release, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella cited LinkedIn's success at engaging professionals, the core users of Microsoft's products.

"Together we can accelerate the growth of LinkedIn, as well as Microsoft Office 365 and Dynamics as we seek to empower every person and organization on the planet," Nadella said.

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LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner, who will remain in the position after the acquisition, said that "this relationship with Microsoft, and the combination of their cloud and LinkedIn's network, now gives us a chance to also change the way the world works."

Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft plans to finance the acquisition of the Mountain View, Calif.-based social networking site for professionals largely by taking on new debt. The acquisition is expected to close by the end of 2016, pending the approval of LinkedIn shareholders, Microsoft said.