Microsoft is in advanced talks to acquire speech recognition company Nuance Communications , a person familiar with the discussions tells CNBC . The operation could be announced this Monday, the source points out.
The plans illustrate Microsoft’s recent efforts to expand through deals. Microsoft considered buying the US operations of video-sharing app TikTok last year, and last month completed the $7.5 billion acquisition of video game maker Zenimax.
Nuance would be more aligned with the part of Microsoft’s business that serves businesses and governments. Nuance earns revenue by selling tools to recognize and transcribe speech for doctor visits, customer service calls and voice messages. The company reported $7 million in net income on approximately $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, reports CNBC .
Microsoft first approached Nuance in December, and is willing to pay around $56 a share for Nuance. That would give Nuance an equity value of roughly $16 billion, representing a 23% premium over the stock’s Friday closing price of $45.58 a share.
Bloomberg reported on Microsoft’s plans to buy Nuance on Sunday.
The Nuance purchase could expand Microsoft’s capabilities in voice software. Microsoft already has tools developers can use to let apps transcribe speech into written words, and it builds speech recognition into its own products, like the Bing search engine and the Teams communication app.