This Monday, Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) announced that it is acquiring LinkedIn for $196 per share in an all-cash transaction valued at $26.2 billion, inclusive of LinkedIn’s net cash.

LinkedIn is the world’s largest and most valuable professional network and continues to build a strong and growing business.

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 the transaction, which is expected to close this calendar year.

“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.”

The transaction, which is expected to close this calendar year, has been unanimously approved by the Boards of Directors of both LinkedIn and Microsoft.

LinkedIn was founded in 2002 and has become atop social networking service, use mainly for professional networking and job seeking.

As of March 2016, the network had more than 433 million users, over 106 million of which are active.