Talk of Microsoft entering discussions to acquire more companies is showing no signs of slowingdown, whether its Discord for its gaming division, or as is now being reported, Nuance Communications, an artificial intelligence and speech technology firm.
According to sources close to the matter (via The Boston Globe), an agreement could be reached and announced over the coming week, though it is important to note that, as of writing, no agreement is in place. It is suggested that Microsoft is currently in discussions at a price point of $56 per share, but again, this price point could change before a final decision is made, or no agreement be reached at all.
To put that price per share into context, it would value Nuance Communications at around $16 billion, an increase of 23% from where Nuance Communications stood at the end of Friday.
For those not familiar with the company, Nuance Communications helped lay the groundwork for Apple's Siri voice assistant. Due to Nuance's involvement in speech technology, Nuance was involved in the original incarnation of Siri, and more recently, has worked alongside Apple on its Business Chat platform. Outside of Apple, Nuance has also had a working relationship with Microsoft itself, mainly focused on a number of health-related projects, including entering medical data into patients' electronic medical records based on conversations between patients and doctors, which began back in 2019.
Nuance Communications could offer a range of benefits to Microsoft and its products, as artificial intelligence continues to be expanded. In recent months and years, we have seen AI being employed in products such as Outlook and LinkedIn to pre-empt what someone might want to type, and Nuance could help to expand this further with its expertise. If the talks progress to an agreement, we will no doubt find out more about what Microsoft's plans for Nuance could be.
Should an agreement be reached for Microsoft to acquire Nuance, it is likely to be Microsoft's 2nd-largest acquisition to date, trailing behind the $24 billion it threw at acquiring LinkedIn.