- Nuance Communications shares shot up 18% on Monday on a deal by Microsoft to buy the company in a $19.7 billion deal.
- Microsoft plans to buy the speech-recognition software maker for $56 a share and the deal will include Nuance’s net debt.
- Microsoft shares were slightly higher as the new trading week got underway.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
Nuance Communications shares surged 18% during Monday’s session following a deal under which Microsoft will purchase the AI speech-recognition software maker for $19.7 billion in cash, with the price to include Nuance’s net debt.
Microsoft, in a joint statement, said it will buy Nuance for $56 a share, which is a 23% premium to Nuance’s closing price on Friday at $45.58. Bloomberg reported late Sunday that the two companies were in talks, citing sources who asked not to be identified. An agreement with Nuance would be Microsoft’s largest since it purchased professional networking site LinkedIn in 2016.
Nuance climbed 18% to $53.93 as regular-session trading got underway. The stock during pre-market trade climbed by as much as 31%. Meanwhile, Microsoft shares edged up 0.1% to $255.97 as Wall Street’s new trading week kicked off.
Nuance and Microsoft have been working together since 2019, focusing on Nuance’s products that allow clinicians to capture patient discussions and integrate them into electronic health records. Microsoft said the deal will double its total addressable market in the healthcare provider space to nearly $500 billion.
“AI is technology’s most important priority, and healthcare is its most urgent application,” said Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella in the statement.
The deal is expected to close by the end of the calendar year 2021 and has been unanimously approved by the boards of both Nuance and Microsoft. Nuance’s CEO Mark Benjamin will remain in his role.
“For Nadella & Co., this is the right acquisition at the right time with Microsoft doubling down on its healthcare initiatives over the coming years,” said Wedbush analyst Dan Ives in a Monday note in which he called the Nuance deal a “strategic no brainer” for Microsoft. Wedbush lowered its 12-month price target on Nuance to $56 from $65 to reflect the deal but maintained its outperform rating.