Founders Workbench loves a successful exit – especially when our Goodwin Procter colleagues are closely involved. Those factors came together recently when GP client lynda.com stole the business news headlines by announcing its $1.5 billion acquisition by online professional network giant LinkedIn.
This was a big deal within the startup community. Spending $1.5B to buy lynda.com – the career-skills educator website launched 20 years ago that has emerged as a leader in professional training videos – is a smart strategic move by LinkedIn as it marries content with user reach in continuing to build out the "economic graph" and signals a broader strategy by LinkedIn to make future company buys. Expect upcoming LinkedIn acquisitions to strengthen vertical segments like sales, as well as broader plays that may include job marketplaces.
A cross-industry team of Goodwin Procter attorneys advised lynda.com in connection with its sale to LinkedIn. The transaction, reportedly the largest ever for LinkedIn, includes a combination of approximately 52% in cash and 48% in stock. The deal is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to close in the second quarter of 2015.
lynda.com, founded in 1995 and based in Carpinteria, Calif., is an online learning company that helps people learn business, technology and creative skills to achieve personal and professional goals. Through individual, corporate, academic and government subscriptions, members have access to the lynda.com and Video2Brain video library of more than 6,300 courses and more than 267,000 video tutorials taught by recognized industry experts.
The company also provides German, French and Spanish-language content under the Video2Brain brand name. lynda.com is funded in part by Accel Partners, Spectrum Equity, TPG Capital and Meritech Capital Partners.
LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional network on the internet, connects professionals to make them more productive and successful and transforms the ways companies hire, market and sell. The company’s 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 300 million members, is based in Mountain View, Calif. and has offices around the world.
The Goodwin team advising lynda.com was led by Larry Chu and included Jared Jensen, Jeff Cheng and Jonathan Avidor (M&A). Additional support was provided by Craig Schmitz (Corporate Securities), Andrea Murino, Kirby Lewis and Todd Hahn (Antitrust), Jim Riley and Mark Schenkel (IP), Lynda Galligan (Benefits), Jane Feddes (Employment) and Kelsey Lemaster (Tax).
Questions regarding this transaction and related issues can be directed to Larry Chu at [email protected].