Microsoft to Buy LinkedIn for $26B in Cash

By eWEEK Staff  |  Posted 2016-06-14 Print this article Print

DAILY VIDEO: Microsoft agrees to acquire LinkedIn for $26 billion; Symantec is set to acquire Blue Coat for $4.65 billion; and VMware is buying Arkin; and there's more.

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Today's topics include three major corporate acquisitions, Microsoft's plan to purchase the LinkedIn social network, Symantec's buyout of Web security company Blue Coat, and VMware's bid for network virtualization firm Arkin Net. In addition, Google's Larry Page has invested in two flying automobile startups.

Microsoft announced June 13 that is acquiring LinkedIn in an all-cash deal valued at $26.2 billion or $196 per share, which is the company's largest acquisition under Satya Nadella's watch as CEO. The companies expect the transaction to close before the end of 2016.

Based in Mountain View, Calif., LinkedIn employs 9,700 full-time workers worldwide. The company operates offices in 30 cities, including Bangalore, Beijing, London, New York and São Paulo. At last count, LinkedIn generated an estimated 45 billion page views per quarter and has more than 7 million active job listings.

Microsoft apparently believe its massive user base, comprised almost entirely of business professionals, presents a big new sales opportunity for the technology giant's productivity software and cloud services, particularly Office 365 and Microsoft Dynamics.

Symantec is taking a major step forward with its agreement to acquire privately-held Web security technology vendor Blue Coat for $4.65 billion in cash. The deal, announced June 13, is expected to close in the third quarter, at which time Greg Clark, current CEO of Blue Coat, will become the CEO of Symantec.

The deal comes a year after major transitions for both Symantec and Blue Coat. The $4.65 billion acquisition figure represents a significant return on investment for Bain Capital, which acquired Blue Coat for $2.4 billion in March 2015 from Thomas Bravo, which had bought Blue Coat in 2011 for $1.3 billion.

For its part, Symantec divested its Veritas storage division in 2015, as part of a plan to focus exclusively on security, which is where the Blue Coat deal fits in.

VMware is adding to its arsenal of software-defined infrastructure capabilities with the planned acquisition of Arkin Net, whose software makes it easier for enterprises to manage their environments across physical and virtual computing domains, networking and storage resources.

VMware officials announced the proposed acquisition of Arkin Net, one of its strategic technology partners, on June 13. No financial details for the deal were released.

The acquisition promises to be a boost for both VMware's NSX network virtualization technology and its vRealize Suite of tools for managing software-defined data center resources across hybrid cloud environments.

Google co-founder and CEO of Google parent company Alphabet Larry Page has personally invested in two startups—Zee.Aero and Kitty Hawk—focused on creating a product that has long been the dream of inventors and kids—flying cars.

An extensive June 9 profile by Bloomberg tells the story of Page's growing interest in the area, early efforts by other flying car developers and, eventually, Page's creation of two companies, set a half-mile apart but entirely separate, apparently with the hope that each venture will drive the innovation of the other to produce practical flying car designs. Neither Page nor employees of the companies will publicly comment on the companies or their efforts.


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