Microsoft acquires Nuance for $20bn

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Microsoft is set to acquire Nuance, an AI tech firm best known for helping to develop Apple’s Siri speech recognition software, in a transaction valued at $19.7 billion (€16.5bn).

Mark Benjamin will remain CEO of Nuance, reporting to Scott Guthrie, executive vice president of Cloud & AI at Microsoft. The transaction is intended to close this calendar year.

Nuance’s products include the Dragon Ambient eXperience, Dragon Medical One and PowerScribe One for radiology reporting, all leading clinical speech recognition SaaS offerings built on Microsoft Azure. Nuance’s solutions work seamlessly with core healthcare systems, including longstanding relationships with Electronic Health Records (EHRs), to alleviate the burden of clinical documentation and empower providers to deliver better patient experiences.

“Nuance provides the AI layer at the healthcare point of delivery and is a pioneer in the real-world application of enterprise AI,” said Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft. “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.”

Beyond healthcare, Nuance provides AI expertise and customer engagement solutions across Interactive Voice Response (IVR), virtual assistants, and digital and biometric solutions to companies around the world across all industries. This expertise will come together with the breadth and depth of Microsoft’s cloud, including Azure, Teams, and Dynamics 365, to deliver next-generation customer engagement and security solutions.

“Over the past three years, Nuance has streamlined its portfolio to focus on the healthcare and enterprise AI segments, where there has been accelerated demand for advanced conversational AI and ambient solutions,” said Benjamin, CEO. “To seize this opportunity, we need the right platform to bring focus and global scale to our customers and partners to enable more personal, affordable and effective connections to people and care. The path forward is clearly with Microsoft —  who brings intelligent cloud-based services at scale and who shares our passion for the ways technology can make a difference. At the same time, this combination offers a critical opportunity to deliver meaningful and certain value to our shareholders who have driven and supported us on this journey.”

The transaction has been unanimously approved by the Boards of Directors of both Nuance and Microsoft.

Upon closing, Microsoft expects Nuance’s financials to be reported as part of Microsoft’s Intelligent Cloud segment.


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