Microsoft plans to purchase the business social network LinkedIn in a deal valued at 26.2 billion dollars, both companies confirmed Monday.
Jeff Weiner will remain chief executive of LinkedIn and the deal is expected to close this year, the companies said in a statement.
"The LinkedIn team has grown a fantastic business centred on connecting the world's professionals," said Satya Nadella, Microsoft's chief executive.
"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."
LinkedIn, a social media platform oriented towards business professionals that also acts as a recruiting website, increased its users last year by 19 per cent to more than 433 million worldwide.
LinkedIn's users complement Microsoft's more than 1 billion users and internet-based cloud computing services for businesses.
"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," Weiner said.
Microsoft will pay 196 dollars per share in cash for the company, nearly 50 per cent higher than the Friday's closing price of 131.08 dollars per LinkedIn share.
The transaction has already been approved the boards of directors of both companies, but is still pending support from LinkIn's shareholders and regulatory approval.