New Zealand’s biggest tech company has been bought by Microsoft for $4.9 billion

New Zealand-based Microsoft has bought a $4 billion stake in a technology company that is looking to expand its market share in the country’s IT services sector.

The New Zealand Securities Exchange (NZSE) on Thursday confirmed the acquisition of the software company, which has a market capitalisation of $3.6 billion.

New Zealand has seen a rapid growth in the IT services market in recent years.

Microsoft, which is known for its Windows, is seeking to create a global service provider, rather than a global corporation, by integrating its cloud computing and collaboration services into New Zealand IT companies.

Shares in Microsoft soared over 2,000 per cent to $4,935.70 in afternoon trading on Thursday, with shares trading around $4 for the day.

It was not immediately clear whether Microsoft would continue to invest in New Zealand, or would continue working on its New Zealand strategy.

In a statement on Thursday afternoon, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she had welcomed the news.

“The fact that Microsoft has taken a stake in New York-based technology company New Zealand Enterprise is good news for the country and for the world, and we look forward to working with them to create the best New Zealand.”

Ardern added that she was pleased to hear that Microsoft had secured a large stake in the company.

She said that it was important that New Zealand remain an international leader in the technology and business services sector and that Microsoft would be investing in New Zealander jobs and jobs opportunities.

“This is another great step for New Zealand in helping to drive its economy and its companies forward, and I welcome this development as a key part of our country’s drive to remain globally competitive,” she said.

For more on New Zealand and tech, read the NZSE’s full press release here.