The software company Microsoft is purchasing the professional networking site LinkedIn for a little over $26bn (£18bn).

The company will pay $196 per share – a premium of almost 50{06aeb1921e0b802d2bd9c766bc98fb11cc6a46c2b0593ed9c88a0e29cf417a34} on last Friday’s closing price.

The deal is expected to help Microsoft improvesales of its business and email software.

Microsoft said that LinkedIn would retain its “distinct brand, culture and independence”.

Ben Wood, head of research at CCS Insight, said the deal would give Microsoft access to the world’s biggest professional social network with more than 430 million members worldwide.

Source: BBC Business News