Software giant Microsoft is set to take over professional networking site LinkedIn for $26.2 billion (23.3 billion euros) in a deal expected to be completed this year, the two companies have announced.
"Just as we have changed the way the world connects to opportunity, 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," LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner said in a statement Monday.
LinkedIn, primarily used by jobseekers and those wanting to build professional contacts, has more than 433 million registered users, according to the company's corporate website. It also has 105 million unique visiting members per month.
The companies were quick to state that LinkedIn wasn’t facing radical change, saying in the statement that the website "will retain its distinct brand, culture and independence," with Weiner remaining CEO.
Waiting for regulatory approval
The transaction is expected to be completed by this year, but is still pending the approval of LinkedIn’s shareholders, and regulatory approval.
Reid Hoffman, LinkedIn’s board chairman and controlling shareholder, called the acquisition a "refounding moment" for the website.
The move comes as Microsoft seeks to expand from being a purely software-producing firm, and as LinkedIn seeks new growth opportunities.
jd/hg (Reuters, AFP, dpa)