LinkedIn buys lynda.com for $1.5bn

<p>The social network said its mission is aligned with the online education company.</p>

Professional social network operator LinkedIn Corp is to buy online education company lynda.com in a deal valued at about $1.5 billion (£1.1 billion) – it's biggest acquisition to date.

Lynda.com offers courses in a number of languages aimed at improving business, technology and creative skills. It has a large library of premium video content on various professional topics such as business skills across multiple languages.

With the integration of lynda.com and LinkedIn, users will realise their potential through the development of new skills, learning what skills are needed for the available jobs in their desired city, Ryan Roslansky, LinkedIn's head of content, wrote in a blog.

LinkedIn said it would pay about 52 per cent in cash and about 48 per cent in stock for the acquisition.

"Highly aligned" missions

The deal is expected to boost the business content Linkedin offers to its 300 million users, while supporting its hiring business, which has reached revenue growth of nearly 50 per cent in each of the last three quarters, helped by rapid expansion in international markets such as China, Reuters report.

"The mission of LinkedIn and the mission of lynda.com are highly aligned," said LinkedIn chief executive Jeff Weiner in a statement. "Both companies seek to help professionals be better at what they do."

He added the companies “believe strongly that the growing skills gap is one of the biggest challenges to the future of the global economy”.

Lynda.com was founded in 1995 as a small school in Pasadena, California. The company secured the vast majority of its nearly $290 million of investment in the past two years, the Financial Times report.

LinkedIn shares gained more than 1.5 per cent on the New York Stock Exchange after the announcement.

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