Microsoft buys Nuance Communications in a $16 billion deal

Microsoft introduced Monday that it’ll purchase speech recognition firm Nuance Communications for $56 per share, about 23% above its closing value Friday. The deal is value about $16 billion.

It is the newest signal Microsoft is looking for extra progress by way of acquisitions. The corporate can also be reportedly in talks to purchase the chat app Discord for about $10 billion. On high of that, Microsoft made an effort to purchase TikTok’s U.S. enterprise final yr for about $30 billion earlier than the deal was derailed.

The Nuance acquisition represents Microsoft’s largest acquisition because it purchased LinkedIn for greater than $26 billion in 2016. Final month, Microsoft accomplished its $7.6 billion acquisition of gaming firm Zenimax.

Shares of Nuance have been up 18% Monday morning. Microsoft shares have been barely constructive.

Nuance can be aligned with the a part of Microsoft’s enterprise that serves companies and governments. Nuance derives income by promoting instruments for recognizing and transcribing speech in physician workplace visits, customer-service calls and voicemails. In its announcement, Microsoft stated Nuance’s expertise will probably be used to reinforce Microsoft’s cloud merchandise for well being care, which have been launched final yr.

Nuance reported $7 million in web revenue on about $346 million in income in the fourth quarter of 2020, with income declining 4% on an annualized foundation. Nuance was based in 1992, and had 7,100 staff as of September.

Microsoft stated Nuance CEO Mark Benjamin will stay on the firm and report back to Scott Guthrie,who’s in control of Microsoft’s cloud and synthetic intelligence companies.

Nuance has a robust status for its voice recognition expertise, and it has been thought-about an acquisition goal for corporations like Apple, Microsoft and extra for a number of years. Microsoft already has voice recognition constructed into lots of its merchandise, nevertheless it has lately shut down some merchandise that includes its voice assistant Cortana.

This story is creating, verify again for updates.

–CNBC’s Alex Sherman and Jordan Novet contributed to this report.

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