Sun, Jul. 24, 8:23 AM
- Salesforce (NYSE:CRM) CEO Marc Benioff, who recently lost a bidding war for LinkedIn (NYSE:LNKD) to Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), would have made a stronger bid for the social network had it continued talks with him after its call for final offers.
- Persistent bidding by Salesforce - during the two months before LinkedIn's agreement to negotiate exclusively with Microsoft - ultimately raised the price of the deal by 22%, or $5B.
Sun, Jul. 3, 9:20 AM
- A bidding war with Salesforce.com (NYSE:CRM) forced Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) to pay nearly $6B extra last month to seal its planned takeover of LinkedIn (NYSE:LNKD).
- Details of the frenzied bidding were revealed in a filing with the SEC ahead of a shareholder vote to approve the transaction.
- A month-long back-and-forth between the two rivals pushed the value of the all-cash deal to $26.2B, making it the third-largest acquisition in the tech industry.
- Previously: Bloomberg: Salesforce bid for LinkedIn prior to the Microsoft deal (Jun. 16 2016)
Thu, Jun. 16, 6:03 PM
- Salesforce (NYSE:CRM) was bidding for LinkedIn (NYSE:LNKD) before the professional social network agreed to a $26.2B deal with Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), sources tell Bloomberg.
- There was already speculation Salesforce (currently has a $55.3B market cap) or another third party was vying to acquire LinkedIn, given Microsoft is paying a near-50% premium to where LinkedIn traded before the deal was announced. LinkedIn's recruiting/jobs products would've complemented Salesforce's cloud CRM apps, and its user data could've been integrated with the apps. LinkedIn's Sales Navigator social selling tool already syncs with Salesforce's apps.
- Last year, Salesforce was reported to have held buyout talks with Microsoft that fell apart due to disagreements over price.
Mon, Jun. 13, 8:53 AM
- Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) will fund the deal mostly by issuing debt, with LinkedIn's (NYSE:LNKD) results to be reported as part of MSFT's Productivity and Business Processes segment. EPS is expected to take a minimal hit in fiscals 2017 and 2018, but the deal should become accretive beginning in fiscal 2019.
- The purchase is expected to close this year.
- Microsoft still intends to complete its current $40B buyback plan by year-end.
- Jeff Weiner will remain CEO of LinkedIn, reporting to Microsoft chief Satya Nadella.
- Nadella: "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.”
- A conference call is scheduled for 11:45 ET.
- LNKD remains higher by 48.4% to $194.49. Reopened for trade, MSFT is lower by 3.6%.
- Previously: Microsoft buys LinkedIn for $26.2B (June 13)
- Twitter next? TWTR is higher by 4% premarket.
Mon, Jun. 13, 8:40 AM
Thu, Apr. 21, 2:31 PM
- A rumor among traders that Microsoft could be looking to acquire LinkedIn (LNKD +2.8%) appears to be helping the beaten-up professional social networking leader rally on a quiet day for tech stocks. Volume is moderate - 2.3M shares vs. a 3-month daily average of 3.9M.
- Of note: Twitter has spiked on several occasions on similar kinds of rumors. In each case, the rumor didn't pan out.
- LinkedIn's Q1 report arrives on the afternoon of April 28. Shares are down 47% YTD, after getting crushed in February due to the weak guidance issued with a Q4 beat.
Thu, Feb. 4, 5:30 PM
- While discussing its 2016 guidance, LinkedIn (NYSE:LNKD) says it expects its field sales hiring solutions business to see mid-20% growth in 2016, after exiting 2015 at 30% growth. The outlook is said to reflect "continued pressure in EMEA and APAC given current global economic conditions," and single-digit growth for self-serve products. It also doesn't assume "meaningful contribution" from LinkedIn's Referrals and new Recruiter products.
- Also: For its Marketing Solutions (ad) business, LinkedIn is shuttering its Lead Accelerator product as a standalone offering, and incorporating its technology into the Sponsored Updates ad product. The move is expected to have a short-term revenue impact. Nonetheless, LinkedIn forecasts Marketing Solutions will "accelerate in 2016."
- Meanwhile, spending will stay aggressive: Capex will equal a high-teens % of 2016 revenue, and aggressive investments will be made for LinkedIn's Sales Solutions and Learning & Development (formerly Lynda.com) platforms.
Q4 sales/traffic details: Talent Solutions revenue (62% of total) +45% Y/Y to $535M - hiring revenue +32% to $487M, Learning & Development revenue totaled $49M. Over 3K corporate solutions accounts were added, raising the total above 42K (+29% Y/Y); LinkedIn won't disclose this metric going forward. The add-on/renewal rate "decreased moderately" Y/Y.
Marketing Solutions +20% to $183M, with Sponsored Updates surpassing 50% of segment revenue and display ad sales dropping by a high-30s % amid ongoing "secular-driven headwinds." Premium Subscriptions +19% to $144M, with Sales Navigator providing a lift. LinkedIn notes general subscriptions are now growing only at a single-digit rate as subscribers migrate to products such as Job Seeker and Recruiter Lite.
Registered members rose by 18M Q/Q to 414M. Unique visiting members only rose 7% to 100M (57M mobile). Member page views +26% to 37B. The U.S. was 61% of revenue.
- Financials: 2015 free cash flow was $300M, up from just $21M in 2014. GAAP costs/expenses rose 39% Y/Y in Q4 to $877.9M. On a non-GAAP basis, sales/marketing spend was 31% of revenue, R&D 18%, G&A 11%, and cost of revenue 12%. LinkedIn ended 2015 with $3.1B in cash and $1.1B in convertible debt.
- In other news, LinkedIn has announced it's buying Connectifier, a startup that has developed A.I.-based search technology for helping recruiters find job candidates. LinkedIn, which bough job search engine/listing platform Bright in 2014, says Connectifier will "further strengthen our core products and accelerate our product roadmap, leveraging powerful machine learning-based searching and matching technology to help recruiters and hiring managers find the perfect talent fit."
- LinkedIn has tumbled to $139.46 after hours.
- LinkedIn's results/guidance, earnings release, slides (.pdf)
Apr. 10, 2015, 2:01 PM
- "There are natural synergies we see with a combination, both strategic and financial, and we see an easy fit within LinkedIn’s (NYSE:LNKD) business model," writes Topeka's Victor Anthony, praising the Lynda.com acquisition. He admits the purchase is expensive - with Lynda having posted 2014 revenue of ~$150M, LinkedIn is paying 10x trailing sales - but (like others) also sees "a compelling opportunity" for cross-selling.
- Macquarie's Tom White observes LinkedIn could offer premium subscriptions that bundle Lynda's courses, and that it can use its data to pitch users on Lynda services. Cantor's Youssef Squali calls the purchase "another significant step toward building the world’s first economic graph."
- Re/code's Kurt Wagner notes Lynda could help LinkedIn make further inroads with students, and that the companies' missions align. "LinkedIn aims to connect people with job opportunities. Lynda.com aims to connect people with an education about those jobs."
- Discussing the deal with Wired, CEO Jeff Weiner argues there's an opportunity to translate Lynda's material into Chinese and other languages. He also suggests the content could boost LinkedIn's user engagement (a historical issue for the company), and that LinkedIn could use its publishing platform to identify potential Lynda contributors.
- Shares are up 4.8% since the deal was announced, and about $12 away from a high of $276.18. Q1 results arrive on April 30.
Apr. 9, 2015, 9:36 AM
- Lynda.com provides thousands of online courses and video tutorials (often tied to learning software programs or Internet services) via subscriptions sold to individuals, businesses, and academic and government institutions, and in partnership with professional "authors."
- The company was founded in 1995, has over 500 employees, and and had 2013 revenue of $100M (+43% Y/Y) while turning a profit. Its courses cover fields ranging from core business skills to photography/video to IT training.
- LinkedIn (LNKD -1.2%) is buying Lynda.com for $1.5B - 52% in cash, 48% in stock. The deal is expected to close in Q2. "Most" of the company's employees will be joining LinkedIn.
- LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner: "Lynda.com's extensive library of premium video content helps empower people to develop the skills needed to accelerate their careers. When integrated with the hundreds of millions of members and millions of jobs on LinkedIn, lynda.com can change the way in which people connect to opportunity."
- LinkedIn exec Ryan Roslansky: "Imagine being a job seeker and being able to instantly know what skills are needed for the available jobs in a desired city, like Denver, and then to be prompted to take the relevant and accredited course to help you acquire this skill."
- Other recent LinkedIn acquisitions: Refresh (meeting preparation app), Careerify (recruiting software), Bizo (business ad services), Bright (analytics-driven job search engine/listingplatform)
Apr. 2, 2015, 1:29 PM
- Refresh helps users prep for meetings by uncovering information about the people they're meeting with; the startup claims to have "surfaced insights associated with hundreds of millions of meetings." LinkedIn (LNKD +0.4%), of course, is often used for the same purpose via its profile pages.
- LinkedIn has bought Refresh for undisclosed sum, and says it plans to use the startup's technology to create new features; it's unclear if those features will go into new apps or LinkedIn's existing ones. Refresh's current app will shut down on April 15, and 12 of its 14 employees will be joining LinkedIn.
- The purchase comes two weeks after LinkedIn announced the acquisition of Canadian recruiting software startup Careerify.
Mar. 16, 2015, 2:34 PM
- LinkedIn (LNKD - unchanged) has acquired Careerify, a Toronto-based developer of recruiting software tools for businesses. Terms are undisclosed.
- Two of Careerify's products will be shuttered, but a referral product that helps companies find job candidates using their employees' social network contacts - it could complement LinkedIn's existing recruiting tools, which make heavy use of publicly-shared member data - will remain open to existing customers. No word yet on how LinkedIn exactly plans to leverage the product or its underlying technology.
- Careerify CEO Harpaul Sambhi: "We decided to join LinkedIn due to what we lacked – massive scale. More than 30,000 companies across the globe leverage LinkedIn for recruitment, and with more than 347 million members, LinkedIn offers an opportunity to make a much larger impact on job seeking and hiring."
- The purchase follows LinkedIn's 2014 acquisitions of business ad services firm Bizo (recently leverage to launch a new ad product) and job search engine/listing platform Bright.
Jul. 22, 2014, 7:12 PM
- LinkedIn (NYSE:LNKD) is acquiring Bizo, a provider of display/social ad services for marketers looking to target businesses. 10% of the $175M purchase price will be paid for in stock, and the rest in cash.
- LinkedIn praises Bizo's data management and targeting tech for enabling "precise and measurable multi-channel marketing programs" aimed at business prospects. The company's service offerings already include LinkedIn ad solutions (.pdf) that support targeting based on professional data. Bizo's ad platform will be integrated with LinkedIn's content marketing tools.
- LinkedIn's ad sales rose 36% Y/Y in Q1, less than total revenue growth of 46%. Ad growth has been pressured a bit by a transition to sponsored news feed ads.
- In January, LinkedIn announced it's buying job search engine/listing platform Bright for $120M. Q2 results are due on July 31.
Jul. 14, 2014, 11:43 AM
- LinkedIn (LNKD +3.1%) has bought Newsle, provider of a service that alerts users when contacts have been mentioned somewhere on the Web. Terms are undisclosed.
- "LinkedIn and Newsle share a common goal: We both want to provide professional insights that make you better at what you do," LinkedIn declares. Much like job search engine/listing platform Bright (acquired in February), Newsle relies on natural-language processing and machine-learning algorithms to weed out useful/relevant information.
- The purchase is the latest in a string of moves meant to improve relatively low user engagement rates. Last year, LinkedIn bought (and proceeded to integrate) mobile reader app Pulse, and added the ability to embed rich media within news feed posts.
- More recently, LinkedIn overhauled its Contacts app (now known as Connected) to emphasize news feed updates and encourage user interactions.
- Q2 results arrive on July 31. Shares are rallying on a good day for tech.
Sep. 3, 2013, 5:21 PM
- Shares of German business social networking site Xing (XNGAF.PK) took off two weeks ago in Frankfurt thanks to rumors LinkedIn (LNKD) is preparing an offer for the company.
- Xing's market cap currently stands at $531M, or less than half the $1.15B LinkedIn could potentially raise through its stock offering. But analysts think Germany's Hubert Burda Media, which owns 52.6% of Xing, would only agree to a steep offer price, given Xing is central to Burda's efforts to grow its digital presence.
- The vast majority of Xing's traffic comes from German users. The company had 13.5M users at the end of Q2, and produced revenue of $27.5M during the quarter.
Apr. 11, 2013, 4:46 PM
LinkedIn (LNKD) confirms it has bought iOS/Android news reader app Pulse. The purchase price is $90M (90% stock, 10% cash - LinkedIn's valuation might have something to do with that), in-line with the $50M-$100M reported last month by AllThingsD. If the SlideShare acquisition is any guide, look for LinkedIn to keep supporting Pulse's apps - the startup claims 30M+ people have used them at some point - while looking for ways to integrate its tools with its site, as it keeps looking for ways to bring user engagement closer to that of consumer-oriented social networks.| Apr. 11, 2013, 4:46 PM | 5 Comments
Jul. 13, 2012, 9:09 AM
As part of the recent sale of Digg, a once-high-flying news-sharing site that was blown away by Facebook and Twitter, the Washington Post (WPO) reportedly ended up buying Digg's team for $12M (previous), and LinkedIn (LNKD) bought 15 of the company's patents for $3.75M-$4M. The site itself went to privately-owned Betaworks for $500K-$725K. Google hired Digg founder Kevin Rose in March.| Jul. 13, 2012, 9:09 AM | 2 Comments