14 June 2016 Current Affairs: Microsoft announced has acquired LinkedIn in an all-cash deal of $26.2 billion, giving its “social” business a major boost.Microsoft will pay $196 per LinkedIn share, a 50 per cent premium over Friday’s closing price of $131.08.
This is the tech giant’s first major acquisition under the leadership of Satya Nadella, the India-born CEO of the company, which has its headquarters in Redmond, Washington, US. Nadella took over from Steve Ballmer in 2014.
Founded in 2002, LinkedIn, whose headquarters are at Mountain View, California, is professional social networking platform with a user base of 433 million. In 2015, the company reported revenues close to $3 billion and operating income of $780 million.
The acquisition of LinkedIn will help Microsoft expand in India too, where the company has a user base of 35 million — second only to the US.
Last year, LinkedIn had piloted a localised product in India targeting college students so that recruiters who came for campus placements could see their profiles in advance.The registration by candidates also helped LinkedIn map their skills, so that it could market e-learning programmes from Lynda, the online learning firm it had acquired early that year.LinkedIn is now taking the product built by its team in India to other places.
It has an 800-member team in Bengaluru and is headed by Akshay Kothari, who came to LinkedIn with its acquisition of Pulse, the newsreader application it bought in 2013.
For Microsoft, which long has used India as a talent base for its products and solutions, the LinkedIn platform would help cement relationships with business users and provide a huge customer base from which it already earns huge annuity revenue.