LinkedIn shows up at the after-hours party…

November 2, 2011

By now, veteran footnoted readers know what we mean when we say that a filing was part of the “Friday night dump”: We’re talking about that last hour or so on a Friday afternoon before the SEC stops accepting filings for the day. Some of the things that get disclosed late on a Friday are real doozies like this $100 million gift to outgoing Nabors (NBR) CEO Eugene Isenberg, filed three minutes before the SEC closed last Friday. While that kind of deal is still pretty rare, there’s still enough stuff dumped at the SEC late on a Friday that it’s hard to believe that the timing is just coincidental.

But there’s actually an after-hours party at the Friday Night Dump. Think of it as filings that show up so late to the party that they end up dragging into work the next morning with a hangover. At least, that’s the image that came to mind when we came across the 8-K that LinkedIn Corp. (LNKD) filed so late last Friday that while the SEC officially “accepted” it on 10/28/11 at 6:22 p.m., the actual “filing date” shows up as Monday, 10/31/11.

So was it something horribly scandalous? Not really. Along with an 8-K, LinkedIn filed an exhibit – “Sixth Amendment to Lease.” That sounds pretty harmless, but maybe the company is trying to fly under the radar so that we don’t learn about its plan to achieve world domination, or – at least – control a growing chunk of real estate in Googleburg (also known as Mountain View, California).

LinkedIn’s headquarters has been “the” place to be lately. Given the company’s hiring boom, it was the perfect place for President Obama to visit at the end of September to talk about his proposed jobs bill. And just a couple of weeks ago, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, Thomas Friedman, showed up to talk for the LinkedIn Speaker series.

Thanks to the first five leases, LinkedIn already occupied around 145,000 square feet in three buildings on Stierlin Court. It also subleased nearly 45,000 square feet of additional space in the same complex from a Silicon Valley neighbor, Microsemi Corp. (MSCC). While Microsemi moved its primary operations to Aliso Viejo this past summer, it still has some employees toiling away in Building 2051.

We noted that LinkedIn’s prior lease, the Fifth Amendment to Lease, isn’t that old; it was signed Dec. 17, 2010. But a few months later, on May 18, 2011, LinkedIn went public. Going public requires whole new departments to issue and track stock options, not to mention write the 10Ks, 10Qs and other SEC filings that we spend so much time reading.

Needing more space for new employees, LinkedIn went back to its landlord and signed a lease for more than 158,000 square feet in two buildings on Stierlin Court – 92,256 square feet in the building where Microsemi is, although it’s currently vacating the space “in phases”, and another 66,100 square feet in yet another building at 2061 Stierlin Court. All told, that’s about 303,200 square feet of office space.

But that’s not enough! The landlord agreed to build a brand new building for LinkedIn that will have “approximately 70,000 rentable square feet of space” at 2019 Stierlin Court. LinkedIn also extended the term of the lease from its prior 5-year duration to a new 10-year term that will start after the new building is open for business.

It’s a good thing that LinkedIn’s market cap has grown to an impressive $8.5 billion, because the company is going to need deep pockets to pay the rent. The minimum monthly rent for the current and expanded space will be almost $803,500 per month – a number that’s scheduled to grow to more than $1.173 million per month in 2023. And not surprisingly, the rent for the new building is about a dollar per square foot higher, obligating LinkedIn to pay $252,000 per month once the building is ready, increasing over the next decade to roughly $343,500 per month.

With all that space, we imagine that the company will dedicate one conference room just for signing its executives’ stock options, and maybe the one across the hall for issuing stock awards.

Image source: toms baugis via flickr

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