[NEW YORK] The career social network LinkedIn said on Thursday it was buying the online learning site lynda.com in a cash-stock deal valued at US$1.5 billion.
The deal ties the 300-million member social network with an educational group which offers language training and other courses to governments, companies and individuals.
"The mission of LinkedIn and the mission of lynda.com are highly aligned. Both companies seek to help professionals be better at what they do," Jeff Weiner, chief executive of LinkedIn, said in a statement.
Weiner said lynda.com "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."
He added, that "we've followed lynda.com for a long time, rooted in the conviction that access to high-quality, skills-based learning-and-development content should be available to every LinkedIn member and a fundamental part of our platform."
LinkedIn content chief Ryan Roslansky said the tie-up "can make it even easier for professionals around the world to accelerate their careers and realize their potential through the learning and development of new skills."
The deal is structured with 52 per cent cash and 48 per cent stock, subject to adjustment. It is expected to close in the current quarter.
California-based lynda.com was founded in 1995. Its members have access to a video library of more than 6,300 courses and more than 267,000 video tutorials, and offers German, French and Spanish-language content under the video2brain brand name.
LinkedIn was the first major US social network to go public, raising some US$350 million in a 2011 initial public offering.
LinkedIn has its headquarters in the Silicon Valley city of Mountain View, California, and is available in more than 200 countries.
Last year, LinkedIn launched a Chinese language version, attempting to tap the huge market while navigating a strict censorship regime that has seen other foreign social media giants banned.