Salesforce considered making a bid for LinkedIn that would have derailed the business social network’s blockbuster $26.2 billion acquisition by Microsoft earlier this week, according news reports on Thursday.
Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff confirmed to technology publication Recode that the cloud software company gave LinkedIn a “solid look” when LinkedIn put itself up for sale. However, Microsoft was willing to pay more than Salesforce (CRM), so LinkedIn (LNKD) went with the higher offer, the reports said.
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The Recode report, which cited unnamed sources, said a possible LinkedIn and Salesforce deal would have involved both debt and stock financing. Microsoft (MSFT) ended up buying Salesforce in an all-cash deal, the report said.
LinkedIn’s top leaders including executive chairman Reid Hoffman and CEO Jeff Weiner contacted Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella to let him know that they wanted to sell the company, according to Bloomberg News.
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A LinkedIn spokesperson declined to comment to Bloomberg on the details of the deal, but said a yet-to-be released regulatory filing will have more information about the sales process.
After the deal closes, which is expected at the end of the year, Weiner will remain LinkedIn’s CEO and will report to Nadella. The LinkedIn acquisition is Microsoft’s biggest ever.