What you need to know
- Microsoft officially announced plans to purchase artificial intelligence and speech technology Nuance Communications.
- The deal is worth $19.7 billion, which makes it one of Microsoft's largest purchases to date.
- Nuance played a major role in the making of Apple's Siri.
Updated April 12, 2021: Microsoft officially announced an agreement to purchase Nuance for $19.7. This deal was suspected leading up to the official announcemment but has now been confirmed by Microsoft. The article has been updated accordingly. The post has also been updated to reflect that the deal includes Nuance's debts.
Microsoft officially announced an agreement to purchase Nuance Communications Inc., an artificial intelligence and speech technology company. Before the official announcement, reports about the discussions between Microsoft and Nuance were reported by Bloomberg. The deal is worth $19.7 billion, making it one of Microsoft's largest acquisitions ever.
Nuance worked on the tech that powers the voice aspect of Apple's Siri assistant and makes the well-known Dragon speech-recognition software. Microsoft has also worked with Nuance since 2019. Microsoft's collaboration with Nuance includes utilizing AI to help doctors capture and record medical information from patients.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella says of Nuance,
Nuance provides the AI layer at the healthcare point of delivery and is a pioneer in the real-world application of enterprise AI. AI is technology's most important priority, and healthcare is its most urgent application. Together, with our partner ecosystem, we will put advanced AI solutions into the hands of professionals everywhere to drive better decision-making and create more meaningful connections, as we accelerate growth of Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare and Nuance.
The deal values Nuance at $56 per share, which implies a 23% premium to the closing price of Nuance from Friday, April 9. The total value of the deal is higher than the suspected value of $16 billion before official news about the agreement was announced. The exact value of the deal appears to be a combination of Nuance's value and its debts, which likely explains the discrepenancy between the predicted $16 billion figure and the final $19.7 billion figure.
The deal falls short of Microsoft's purchase of LinkedIn for $26.2 billion but is still be one of Microsoft's largest acquisitions ever.
Microsoft has a Tech Center next to Nuance's headquarters in Massachusetts, so Microsoft is close to Nuance in both technological goals and physical proximity.
A CNBC report states that Microsoft first approached Nuance in December.
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