By Lucky Uwakina (AGENDAWATCHDOG) – Microsoft, on an accelerated growth push, is buying speech recognition company Nuance in a deal worth about $16 billion. The acquisition will get Microsoft deeper into hospitals and the health care industry through Nuance’s widely used medical dictation and transcription tools.
Microsoft will pay $56 per share cash. That’s a 23% premium to Nuance’s Friday closing price. The companies value the transaction including debt at $19.7 billion. Shares of Burlington, Massachusetts-based Nuance surged more than 16% in Monday trading.
Nuance has been a pioneer in voice-based artificial intelligence technology and was instrumental in helping to power Apple’s digital assistant Siri. It has since shifted its focus to health care, including a product that listens in on exam room conversations between physicians and patients and automatically writes up the doctor’s recommendations.