Microsoft, on an accelerated progress push, is buying speech recognition firm Nuance in a deal value about USD 19.7 billion.
Microsoft can pay USD 56 per share in money. That’s a 23 p.c premium to Nuance’s Friday closing value. The firms worth the transaction together with debt at USD 19.7 billion.
Shares of Burlington, Massachusetts-based Nuance surged greater than 17 p.c in Monday morning buying and selling.
Microsoft’s acquisition of Nuance comes after the businesses shaped a partnership in 2019. The Redmond, Washington, firm mentioned that the deal will double its complete addressable market in the well being care supplier business, bringing its complete addressable market in well being care to almost USD 500 billion.
Nuance’s merchandise embody the Dragon Ambient eXperience, Dragon Medical One, and PowerScribe One for radiology reporting, all scientific speech recognition SaaS choices constructed on Microsoft Azure. The firm’s merchandise are at present utilized by greater than 55 p.c of physicians and 75 p.c of radiologists in the US, and by 77 p.c of US Hospitals. Its well being care cloud income skilled 37 p.c year-over-year progress in fiscal 2020.
AI is know-how’s most vital precedence, and healthcare is its most pressing utility, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella mentioned in an announcement.
Aside from well being care, Nuance offers AI experience and buyer engagement options throughout interactive voice response, digital assistants, and digital and biometric options to firms in all industries. This will be a part of with Microsoft’s cloud, together with Azure, Teams, and Dynamics 365, to ship next-generation buyer engagement and safety options.
The transaction is Microsoft’s second-largest deal following its USD 26 billion buy of LinkedIn in 2016. Last September, it purchased online game maker ZeniMax for USD 7.5 billion.
This is the precise acquisition on the proper time with Microsoft doubling down on its well being care initiatives over the approaching years, Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives wrote in a notice to shoppers.
Ives mentioned the transaction matches effectively into Microsoft’s well being care portfolio and comes at a time that hospitals and medical doctors are embracing next-generation AI capabilities.
Mark Benjamin will proceed as Nuance CEO.
The transaction is anticipated to shut this yr. It nonetheless wants approval from Nuance shareholders.