Shares in XING skyrocket on buyout rumours

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Why are shares in XING, the German-born business social network that competes most with LinkedIn in Europe, skyrocketing?

Rumors are reaching me that prominent stakeholders in XING – current and former employees – are taking advantage of this moment to offload significant share stakes, and who can blame them. So why the spike? Well, it appears there is chatter of a buyout deal in the offing. But who would want to buy XING? Well the obvious answer is LinkedIn. Such a deal would consolidate its position in Europe, making it basically unassailable in business networks.

A month ago XING was worth about $213m but that’s now hit around $221m and it’s going up by the minute given that it’s publicly traded, and has been for two and a half years. But LinkedIn is worth over $1 billion and has 43 million members to XING’s 7.5 million. So XING shareholders may well agree to a takeover, wanting to get in on LinkedIn’s valuation when the IPO market presumably returns, perhaps next year.

XING recently launched it’s OpenSocial apps, mostly German ones. Will there also be some consolidation news also for Viadeo, the French-born LinkedIn competitor? I do hope so.

  • Andre

    I think Xing could do with a new managment team. Currently they are f**ki**g their customers:
    Also they do not have much foothold outside of Europe but are very strong in Germany Austria and Switzerland so this would be a good fit for LinkedIN

    • Roberto

      Grow up, Andre. You got a subscription to XING and forgot to cancel it. Who´s fault is that?

      • Andre

        Roberto, that is the deal.. it is not marked as a subscription. If Xing was a serious business it would not need to fraud it’s customers

  • Henning Peters

    If you look at the last year this peak seems irrelevant given the stock valued at 34€ or more a couple of weeks ago.

    I bought Xing stocks a couple of months ago at ~28€, but I am quite pessimistic given the inconsistent tech platform and recent de-internationalization efforts.

  • Chris Norton

    This is an interesting story and I agree it would consolidate Linked-in’s position in the market over here in Europe.

    It would also make Linked-in the monopoloy on business-to-business social networks. Either way I think this is a good thing for those of us who are members of both.

  • Nico

    Could not agree more with Henning… wow, stock took 10 pct since 08/24? yes… so what?

  • Robert Waters

    But how many Xing members are also on LinkedIn ? I live and work in Germany, I’m on both and most of my colleagues are on both. So what would LinkedIn be buying? German translations of existing LinkedIn profiles for people who haven’t worked out how to use LinkedIn’s multilingual feature?

    And imagine the chaos during the deduplication process.

    Also, the story needs to be clearer about who the “stakeholders” selling shares are – if they include senior management then this suggests that there is no substance to the rumour because the management would be unable to deal in the shares if they had been approached by LinkedIn regarding a possible deal.

  • Ian Richard Hendry

    Fair comment Robert. I also believe there is probably a big chunk of overlap between members. I am not sure why LinkedIn what want XING, although its 8% conversion to premium membership is probably their envy, as is a public market listing.

    Surely they wouldn’t buy XING and reverse themselves into it by way of a cheap and instant IPO?

    I’ll be watching this with interest!

    Ian Hendry
    CEO, WeCanDo.BIZ

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  • Jens Best

    the peak is not really interesting. Looking forward to see what Xing founder and ex-ceo Lars Hinrichs is about to announce as his new biz soon.

    • Roberto

      Jens, Xing 2.0? ;-)

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  • Marc

    well, I know we’re living tough times but 28 to 30 is a 10% increase. Hardly skyrocketing.

  • Olivetti

    I prefer Xing over LinkedIn – Networking is made easy and convenient and the subscription model is just fair (5,95€/month). Compared to this Introductions and InMails hassle for 249.50US$/year@LinkedIn Xing really is outstanding. To bad Xing isn´t taking over LinkedIn – if it wouldn´t be for the non-european contacts I would never be on LinkedIn.

  • Mike D

    If LinkedIn buys XING, it will suck. LinkedIn even at this stage, is like dog poo that no one wants to clean up. Imagine if they become a monopoly.

    LinkedIn is one of the worst in innovating. Right up there with Friendster.

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  • Oliver Gassner

    Well, Viadeo only came to my attention because I was invited by what was obviously a fake persona that was also featued on the Viadeo homepage. I sure hope spammers won’t consolidate :=)

    As for XIG my impression is that it is far more on the innovation tarck as Linkedin. So puirely echnologically I would not be happy with my Linkedin and XING-Accounts being merged. (Although LI has 1-2 features I would like to see in XING ;) )

    • DavidH

      I joined all three ‘business networks’ LinkedIn, Xing, and Viadeo.
      LinkedIn seems the most popular, and therefore the most useful. It’s also got a pretty clean interface.
      XING has a few more features than LinkedIn but they’re not very well implemented. Also, it’s mainly German.
      Viadeo seems to be the worst by far. They don’t seem to particularly like their customers, and they seem want to confirm people’s prejudices about rude French people – after I left Viadeo, I still get loads of spam from them. Their main marketing strategy seems to be to irritate people.

  • Arnd Heitmeier (netzturbine) 's status on Tuesday, 01-Sep-09 22:16:17 UTC -
  • Necati

    It would make sense if a traditional job board made such an acquisition, like Monster.

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  • Oliver Gassner

    links for 2009-09-02…

    Shares in XING skyrocket on buyout rumours
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    palm pre …

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  • Hans

    I am both on Xing and LinkedIn and I have to say that Xing is MUCH better.

    I even don’t know where to start, Xing is better like in allmost every aspect. LinkedIn on the contrary is allmost useless, boring and hard to use.

    It would be a shame if Xings quality would be sucked in by LinkedIn.

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