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LinkedIn to buy online career education venture Lynda for $1.5B

The world's largest professional network LinkedIn is buying online career-skills educator lynda.com in a cash-and-stock deal valued at about $1.5 billion, according to a press statement on Thursday.

The deal, which is expected to close in the current quarter, involves 52 per cent in cash payout and 48 per cent in stock.

Following the acquisition, the team members of lynda.com are expected to join LinkedIn.

“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,”  said Jeff Weiner, CEO of LinkedIn.

“When we were approached by LinkedIn, we instantly recognised that the synergy between the two companies offered a match unlike any other,” said Lynda Weinman, co founder, lynda.com, Inc. in a blog post.

Founded in 1995 by technical skill instructional book author Lynda Weinman and Bruce Heavin, Carpinteria (California)  based lynda.com offers courses in business, teaching and creative skills for individual professionals as well as corporate, government and educational organisations in several languages. In addition to individual subscribers, lynda.com serves corporate, government and educational organisations through its lyndaEnterprise, lyndaPro, lyndaCampus, lyndaLibrary and lyndaKiosk products.

It also has offices in San Francisco, London, Sydney and Graz and is funded in part by Accel Partners, Spectrum Equity, TPG Capital and Meritech Capital Partners. In January 2015, it had raised $186 million in a Series B round led by TPG Capital in which all existing investors participated.

Previously, it raised $103 million in Series A from Accel Partners, Spectrum Equity and Meritech Capital Partners.

For LinkedIn, which boasts of 300 million members on its network, this comes as a big buy. The firm gets to add more revenue channels to its business to the existing bouquet where it generates most of its revenues from recruitment solutions, premium subscriptions and advertising.

(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)

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