Microsoft Acquires Nuance for $16 Billion

Issue 66

Microsoft has agreed to acquire speech-recognition firm Nuance Communications for $16 billion, pushing further into health technology and adding to a series of large-scale deals that have widened the range of software tools it offers its customers.

Microsoft has agreed to pay $56 per Nuance share in the all-cash deal, a 23% premium over Friday’s closing price. The companies put the deal value, including debt, at $19.7 billion.
The acquisition is Microsoft’s second-largest under CEO Satya Nadella after the company spent about $26 billion for LinkedIn in 2016.

Massachusetts-based Nuance was the pioneer of artificial intelligence speech recognition and technology.

Its software formed the basis of Apple’s Siri voice assistant before the company switched to an in-house built version.

Nuance has explored a possible sale as far back as 2014 when Samsung and private-equity firms were seen as the most likely buyers.

Voice assistants have enjoyed growing adoption as consumers have embraced smart devices around their homes. Amazon also helped popularize its Alexa voice assistant through its smart speakers and Alphabet’s Google devices with its virtual helper, Google Assistant.

Source: Wall Street Journal