Microsoft is taking bold steps with its recent acquisition of Nuance Communications Inc. for $19.7 billion. The news was announced by its officials on April 12 making it Microsoft’s second-largest acquisition in corporate history after LinkedIn, which it bought in 2016 for $26.2 billion.
Microsoft said that Mark Benjamin will remain CEO of Nuance, reporting to Microsoft Executive Vice President of Cloud and AI Scott Guthrie. Microsoft officials said the transaction is intended to close this calendar year.
The two companies announced today that they had entered into a definitive agreement under which Microsoft will acquire Nuance for $56.00 per share, implying a 23% premium to the closing price on Friday, April 9, in an all-cash transaction valued at $19.7 billion, inclusive of Nuance’s net debt.
This has been seen as a good step forward since the two companies share a common goal in areas of AI and Cloud computing. Nuance develops cloud and AI software and services, with a strong focus on healthcare and enterprise customers. Microsoft recently announced the Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare bundle and has invested heavily in the healthcare space over the past decade.
Nuance is a trusted cloud and AI software leader representing decades of accumulated healthcare and enterprise AI experience, which is no surprise that Microsoft has acquired it to expand on its future developments.
“Nuance provides the AI layer at the healthcare point of delivery and is a pioneer in the real-world application of enterprise AI,” said Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella in the blog post-Monday. “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”
Like many tech companies, Microsoft has invested heavily in artificial intelligence in recent years. Last year, it for AI work that contained 285,000 processor cores. In 2018, it , a startup that develops conversational artificial intelligence, also known as chatbots.
Microsoft makes its second-largest acquisition with Nuance for $19.7 billion
In 2019, Nuance and Microsoft announced a strategic partnership to deliver ambient clinical intelligence (ACI) technologies. The two said they’d work together on combining the Dragon Medical platform with Azure, Azure AI services, and ProjectEmpowerMD intelligent-scribe service, along with various other conversational AI technologies developed by the two companies.
The tech giant has accelerated its efforts to provide industry-specific cloud offerings to support customers and partners as they respond to disruption and new opportunities. These efforts include the Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare, introduced in 2020, which aims to address the comprehensive needs of the rapidly transforming and growing healthcare industry. Today’s acquisition announcement represents the latest step in Microsoft’s industry-specific cloud strategy.
“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 Mark Benjamin, CEO, Nuance.
“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.” he added.
The transaction has been unanimously approved by the Boards of Directors of both Nuance and Microsoft. The deal is intended to close by the end of this calendar year and is subject to approval by Nuance’s shareholders, the satisfaction of certain regulatory approvals, and other customary closing conditions.
Nadella, Benjamin, Guthrie and Microsoft Chief Financial Officer Amy Hood hosted a webcast for investors and media on April 12, 2021, at 8 a.m. Pacific Time/11 a.m. Eastern Time regarding this transaction. The presentation is available via webcast at https://aka.ms/MS-Investor-Call
Author: Allan Bangirana
Allan Bangirana has a taste for all kinds of topics and usually writes about tech, entertainment, sports and community projects that make a difference in society.