Microsoft on Monday announced it is acquiring LinkedIn, the social network for professionals, for a whopping sum of $26 billion -- or $196 per share, in cash. The transactions, the companies say, has already been approved by both boards. As part of the agreement, LinkedIn will get to keep its branding, and will become part of Microsoft's productivity and business processes segment. Jeff Weiner will remain CEO of LinkedIn, and now report to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. In a statement, Nadella said: The LinkedIn team has grown a fantastic business centered on connecting the world's professionals. 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.LinkedIn has over 430M members on its network. LinkedIn's purchase marks Microsoft's 196th acquisition of another company -- it is incidentally also its most expensive purchase. Four years ago, Weiner laughed at the idea of a Microsoft buyout. Update: 06/13 13:31 GMT by M :According to Bloomberg, LinkedIn shares surged 49 percent in premarket trading in New York to $194.63. Microsoft fell 3.7 percent to $49.60.