Microsoft to Buy Linkedin for $26B

Linkedin has always been one of my favorite social networks. I’m hoping that they don’t change much. But today, Microsoft announced they are buying them for $26 billion dollars!  Below is the official press release:

Microsoft and Linkedin

REDMOND, Wash., and MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. — June 13, 2016 — Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) and LinkedIn Corporation (NYSE: LNKD) on Monday announced they have entered into a definitive agreement under which Microsoft will acquire LinkedIn for $196 per share in an all-cash transaction valued at $26.2 billion, inclusive of LinkedIn’s net cash. LinkedIn will retain its distinct brand, culture and independence. Jeff Weiner will remain CEO of LinkedIn, reporting to Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft. Reid Hoffman, chairman of the board, co-founder and controlling shareholder of LinkedIn, and Weiner both fully support this transaction. The transaction is expected to close this calendar year.

LinkedIn is the world’s largest and most valuable professional network and continues to build a strong and growing business. Over the past year, the company has launched a new version of its mobile app that has led to increased member engagement; enhanced the LinkedIn newsfeed to deliver better business insights; acquired a leading online learning platform called to enter a new market; and rolled out a new version of its Recruiter product to its enterprise customers. These innovations have resulted in increased membership, engagement and financial results, specifically:

19 percent growth year over year (YOY) to more than 433 million members worldwide
9 percent growth YOY to more than 105 million unique visiting members per month
49 percent growth YOY to 60 percent mobile usage
34 percent growth YOY to more than 45 billion quarterly member page views
101 percent growth YOY to more than 7 million active job listings

“The LinkedIn team has grown a fantastic business centered on connecting the world’s professionals,” Nadella said. “Together we can accelerate the growth of LinkedIn, as well as Microsoft Office 365 and Dynamics as we seek to empower every person and organization on the planet.”

“Just as we have changed the way the world connects to opportunity, this relationship with Microsoft, and the combination of their cloud and LinkedIn’s network, now gives us a chance to also change the way the world works,” Weiner said. “For the last 13 years, we’ve been uniquely positioned to connect professionals to make them more productive and successful, and I’m looking forward to leading our team through the next chapter of our story.”

The transaction has been unanimously approved by the Boards of Directors of both LinkedIn and Microsoft. The deal is expected to close this calendar year and is subject to approval by LinkedIn’s shareholders, the satisfaction of certain regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.

“Today is a re-founding moment for LinkedIn. I see incredible opportunity for our members and customers and look forward to supporting this new and combined business,” said Hoffman. “I fully support this transaction and the Board’s decision to pursue it, and will vote my shares in accordance with their recommendation on it.”

Microsoft will finance the transaction primarily through the issuance of new indebtedness. Upon closing, Microsoft expects LinkedIn’s financials to be reported as part of Microsoft’s Productivity and Business Processes segment. Microsoft expects the acquisition to have minimal dilution of ~1 percent to non-GAAP earnings per share for the remainder of fiscal year 2017 post-closing and for fiscal year 2018 based on the expected close date, and become accretive to Microsoft’s non-GAAP earnings per share in Microsoft’s fiscal year 2019 or less than two years post-closing. Non-GAAP includes stock-based compensation expense consistent with Microsoft’s reporting practice, and excludes expected impact of purchase accounting adjustments as well as integration and transaction-related expenses. In addition, Microsoft also reiterated its intention to complete its existing $40 billion share repurchase authorization by Dec. 31, 2016, the same timeframe as previously committed.

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Microsoft and LinkedIn will host a joint conference call with investors on June 13, 2016, at 8:45 a.m. Pacific Time/11:45 a.m. Eastern Time to discuss this transaction. The call will be available via webcast at and will be hosted by Nadella and Weiner, as well as Microsoft Chief Financial Officer Amy Hood and Microsoft President and Chief Legal Officer Brad Smith. The presentation for the call is available on the Microsoft News Center.

Morgan Stanley is acting as exclusive financial advisor to Microsoft, and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP is acting as legal advisor to Microsoft. Qatalyst Partners and Allen & Company LLC are acting as financial advisors to LinkedIn, while Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, Professional Corporation, is acting as legal advisor.

About LinkedIn

LinkedIn connects the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful and transforms the way companies hire, market, and sell. Our vision is to create economic opportunity for every member of the global workforce through the ongoing development of the world’s first Economic Graph. LinkedIn has more than 400 million members and has offices around the globe.

About Microsoft

Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) is the leading platform and productivity company for the mobile-first, cloud-first world, and its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.

Read the story… | Source: Microsoft

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Local Sites With Revenue Over $1M Annually

statecollegecom covers State College, PA. Built by City Portals, they claim that they have helped local newspapers to grow revenues by 6x.

I just ran across an interesting PDF that lists local / niche news sites, listing their annual revenue.  Revenue for local news / feature sites has been a challenge for the news industry as well as for domain name investors.  Some have succeeded; mostly, people like Fred Mercaldo, and the Castello brothers who all own great city or regional domain names like and

But big revenues don’t come easy for these kinds of sites.  This may be changing.  I have followed the online news / media business for many years and recently run across Michelle’s List.  This site, produced in collaboration with the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism tracks the success of online media.  They just added eight new local news / niche sites with annual revenues of over $1 million dollars each.  That’s nice to see.

The newest list includes sites like 30A celebrates small-town beach life along Florida’s Scenic Highway 30-A and started as a local beach guide but  is fast becoming an international brand. Others include Soo Today and the NJ Spotlight which are local news sites.

The entire list is available online here:

or here:

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Hats for Cats

Godaddy is our competitor but you have to give them credit for a really funny commercial…

I’ll say nothing more except, LOL.

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Where to Eat in Chicago

As a Chicago native (now living in California for many years) I often get asked about restaurants and food in Chicago. I’ve been gone a long time but when we go back these are some of the places and restaurants we think about. I don’t know how much time you will have there but I’m going to give you the places that people go to and talk about that know Chicago food (I’m sure I’m missing a few so am open to more current suggestions too :-)).

Look for RICOBENE’S PIZZA near downtown on the south side (but don’t buy pizza; buy one “BREADED STEAK SANDWICH” to split). It is full of delicious cheese and is a lot of food for a normal human being and as long as you’re comfortable to share is plenty for two. Don’t go there on a first date there; it is messy. Really good; You should love this.

If you want to have dinner and a cool Chicago experience go to TUFANO’S VERNON PARK TAP in the old Italian neighborhood of Taylor Street. It’s an old Italian restaurant and is really authentic Italian food. Warning: They don’t take credit cards (at least they didn’t used to). Order anything Italian. It’s all good.

After either of these two places, you will be in the TAYLOR STREET AREA (after dinner and if it is summer) go out right nearby for an ITALIAN ICE AT MARIOS: . It is very close to Tufano’s or Ricobene’s – You can almost walk there from Tufano’s but it might be better to do a cab or Uber (it’s very close). You’ll love that Italian ice. I crave it. – MARIO’S ITALIAN ICE – 1068 W Taylor St, Chicago, IL 60607 – The neighborhood is an old Italian neighborhood and is good but don’t stray too far out of that neighborhood walking.

For lunch, find either a PORTILLO’S OR AL’S BEEF – (and don’t buy a hot dog). or – Order a “WET BEEF” and fries. This is a specialty that you can pretty much only find in Chicago. There are Portillo’s and Al’s all around Chicago and the suburbs. Italian beef is a real Chicago specialty. There is a Portillo’s in Buena Park, CA though and me and my wife go there often.

Try Giordano’s for pizza. – It’s a chain but pretty good for Chicago pizza. Other good pizza places downtown are Uno’s and/or Due’s Pizzeria’s – They’re both good. You can try their DEEP DISH PIZZA. It’s really good but usually gives me heartburn because I eat too much.

About hot dogs… Almost anywhere you see a little hot dog stand will usually be good but some that we especially like are:

  • In Cicero: HENRY’S HOT DOGS on Ogden Avenue
  • On the north side of Chicago: I remember going to JIMMY’S HOT DOGS on Grand and Pulaski as a kid. 4000 W Grand Ave, Chicago, IL 60651. They were good. Be careful of the neighborhood though.
  • On the south side of Chicago: I remember a few hot dog stands named “NICKY’S”. I used to love them.
  • Some Suburbs: In River Grove: A lot of people talk about GENE & JUDE’S. I haven’t been there but hear it is good.

Before you leave Chicago, stop somewhere to have a GYRO SANDWICH. There are stands everywhere in Chicago. They’re almost always good and they serve them with a delicious white sauce. Buy the ones that are fresh sliced off the vertical rotisserie. Those are the best and are plentiful in Chicago. These are a favorite for me and a little more difficult to find in California.

Last!  I’ve been gone a long time and if you know that I’ve missed something, please let me know.  I’m always interested in where to eat when I come back to Chicago.

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