Microsoft announced surprise deal to buy LinkedIn for £18.4 billion

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The announcement was made by Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella who described LinkedIn as a “fantastic business” and an “impressive network”. Microsoft has announced a deal to purchase the business-focused social network LinkedIn for £18.4 billion ($26.2 billion).

LinkedIn shares have rocketed nearly 50% to £$131 since the announcement was made earlier this morning.

“This deal brings together the world’s leading professional cloud with the world’s leading professional network,” Nadella said in a memo to staff.

“I have been learning about LinkedIn for some time while also reflecting on how networks can truly differentiate cloud services.

REUTERS/Anindito Mukherjee
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella
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“It’s clear to me that the LinkedIn team has grown a fantastic business and an impressive network of more than 433 million professionals.”

Microsoft said that LinkedIn boss Jeff Weiner would stay in charge of the business – sometimes known as the “Facebook for professionals” but he will now report to Nadella.

“Today is a re-founding moment for LinkedIn,” Reid Hoffman, chairman of LinkedIn’s board, said in a statement.

The professional social network was founded in Mountain View, California in 2002.

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