Microsoft buys Nuance to boost artificial intelligence
Friday, 04 30 2021, Category: Technology, Country: World
Microsoft Corp. is buying speech-recognition pioneer Nuance Communications Inc. in an all-cash deal valued at US$19.6 billion, gaining artificial-intelligence technology aimed at helping doctors predict patients’ needs and upgrading hospitals’ digital record-keeping.
The software giant is offering to purchase Nuance at US$56 a share, a 23 per cent premium to Friday’s close, according to a statement Monday, which confirmed an earlier Bloomberg report. The deal marks Microsoft’s largest acquisition since LinkedIn Corp.
The transaction value is derived by the US$56 a share multiplied by about 350 million fully diluted shares of Nuance, including stock options and stock awards. The acquisition will decrease earnings by less than 1 per cent in the year that begins July 1 and start to add to profit the following year, Microsoft said.
Microsoft is tapping the company tied to the Siri voice technology to develop solutions that free doctors from note-taking and better determine health-care needs. It has been working with Nuance for two years on AI software that helps clinicians capture patient discussions and integrate them into electronic health records, and combining the speech technology company’s products into its Teams chat app for telehealth appointments.