Microsoft has acquired artificial intelligence and speech recognition company Nuance Communications for $ 19.7 billion, the tech giant said on Monday, marking its second-largest acquisition on record after buying $ 27 billion of LinkedIn in 2016, and its second major purchase in 2021 following the $ 7.5 billion acquisition of video game maker Zenimax.
The $ 19.7 billion cash transaction at $ 56 per share is more than 23% higher than Nuance’s last closing price of $ 45.22.
In a statement announcing the acquisition, Microsoft said the acquisition would build on its existing healthcare partnership with Nuance and integrate the company’s products into its “Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare” platform.
Nuance develops and markets tools that recognize and transcribe conversations between physicians and patients, and then integrate them into electronic health records.
Besides healthcare, Microsoft said it also plans to leverage Nuance’s expertise in AI to improve its various cloud offerings.
77%. That’s the percentage of US hospitals that are currently using Nuance products, Microsoft said in its statement. In addition, over 55% of physicians and 75% of radiologists have also used the company’s solutions.
The purchase of Nuance comes amid a string of acquisitions Microsoft has attempted or completed over the past year. Last month, the tech giant completed the acquisition of video game publisher Zenimax Media in a $ 7.5 billion cash deal. Microsoft is also said to be in talks to acquire Discord, a voice chat and instant messaging platform popular with gamers, for more than $ 10 billion. The attempt to buy Discord is seen as an attempt by the company to gain a foothold in the social media space after its attempt to buy TikTok’s U.S. operations was blocked last year. In 2019, Microsoft announced a collaboration with Nuance to deliver its speech recognition platforms to doctors and hospitals.
Microsoft buys Nuance for $ 19.7 billion in healthcare bet (Bloomberg)
Microsoft buys Nuance Communications (CNBC)