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Microsoft buys Nuance for about $16 billion

Microsoft acquires speech-recognition company Nuance Communications. Nuance would be more aligned with the part of Microsoft’s business that serves businesses and governments. Nuance derives revenue by selling tools for recognizing and transcribing speech in doctor’s visits, customer-service calls and voicemails. The company reported $7 million in net income on about $346 million in revenue in the fourth quarter, with revenue declining 4% on an annualized basis. Nuance was founded in 1992, with 7,100 employees as of September.

Microsoft first approached Nuance in December, the person said, and is willing to pay about $56 per share for Nuance, the person said. That would give Nuance an equity value of about $16 billion, representing a 23% premium over the stock’s Friday closing price of $45.58 per share.

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