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.