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LinkedIn to buy online learning site lynda.com for $1.5 billion

LinkedIn announces its largest acquisition

LinkedIn Corp. has agreed to purchase online learning company lynda.com for about $1.5 billion, the largest acquisition yet for the popular professional networking site.

Mountain View, Calif.,-based LinkedIn said the purchase would be funded 52% with cash and 48% with stock.

Lynda.com offers online courses teaching business, technology and creative skills through subscriptions. Customers include individuals, businesses, government and nonprofit organizations.

“The mission of LinkedIn and the mission of lynda.com are highly aligned,” Jeff Weiner, chief executive of LinkedIn, said in a statement. “Both companies seek to help professionals be better at what they do. Lynda.com’s extensive library of premium video content helps empower people to develop the skills needed to accelerate their careers.”

Most members of the lynda.com team are expected to join LinkedIn after the deal is finalized in the coming months, LinkedIn said.

“When we were approached by LinkedIn, we instantly recognized that the synergy between the two companies offered a match unlike any other,” Lynda Weinman, co-founder of lynda.com, wrote in a blog post. “LinkedIn has nearly 350 million members, all of whom potentially benefit from self-paced study of new skills.”

LinkedIn’s second-largest known acquisition was for marketing platform Bizo last July in a deal worth $175 million, according to CrunchBase.

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