Microsoft has acquired LinkedIn, the premier social network for professionals for $26 billion in cash. Approved by the board of directors of both companies, Microsoft acquired the company for $196 per share, which is more than the Friday’s closing price at $131.08.

With a total of 433 million users, who are mostly professionals, LinkedIn will retain its current branding and product. However, the company will become part of Microsoft’s core productivity and business processes department, where LinkedIn’s CEO Jeff Weiner will directly report to Satya Nadella.

Responding to media, Satya Nadella disclosed that the LinkedIn team has established a strong presence in the professional social media sector by connecting professional across the world. He said that people are connecting each other after years of lost contact and this signals how effective LinkedIn platform is.

Nadella stated that the company will accelerate the growth of LinkedIn by incorporating various latest technologies like Office 365 and Dynamics. The main aim of the merger is to empower every person and businesses on the planet with the required platform to showcase their credentials, adds Nadella.

Commenting on the acquisition, Weiner revealed that by combining Microsoft’s cloud network, LinkedIn will be scale by up to 200 percent. Moreover, the market share of LinkedIn is expected to grow substantially due to integration of powerful Microsoft technologies. We look forward to provide a suitable networking platform to connect professionals to make them not only productive but also successful.

Reid Hoffman, one of the co-founder of LinkedIn and the main brain behind the merger with Microsoft said that today is the special re-founding moment for LinkedIn. There is a room for substantial growth in the professional social media space and the integration of Microsoft technologies will further boost the growth of the company.

The acquisition is a win-win situation for both companies. While Microsoft will be able to bring a key missing piece to create more services for enterprises, LinkedIn will be able to increase the market share in terms of social networking services and professional content just like they have done with Yammer few months ago.

Both Microsoft and LinkedIn will host a joint press conference at 8.45AM PST to elaborate more about the acquisition.