Nuance to Acquire Speech Software Firm SVOX

6/15/11Follow @gthuang

[Updated 6/17/11 with terms. See below] Some big news in the world of speech software today. Burlington, MA-based Nuance Communications (NASDAQ: NUAN) is acquiring Zurich-based embedded speech software firm SVOX, Xconomy has learned from a source with knowledge of the deal. The acquisition price wasn’t disclosed, but is said to be in the triple-digit millions of dollars.

[Update] Nuance filed a Form 8-K with the SEC on Friday, which reveals the aggregate price was 87 million Euros (about U.S. $125 million)—57 million Euros in cash upfront, 8.3 million in cash or stock after one year, and 21.7 million in cash or stock by the end of 2012.

The deal seems to make sense for Nuance, which is trying to dominate the fields of speech, imaging, and communications technologies—especially speech.

SVOX, a profitable private company founded in 2000, develops speech interfaces for the automotive, mobile, and consumer electronics industries.

Nuance has an aggressive (and controversial) reputation when it comes to acquisitions of speech technology companies, as this recent Bloomberg BusinessWeek article details. The company has made a number of acquisitions in the Seattle area and has a sizable presence there—which is the subject of a separate story.

Gregory T. Huang is Xconomy's Deputy Editor, National IT Editor, and the Editor of Xconomy Boston. You can e-mail him at gthuang@xconomy.com or call him at 617-252-7323. Follow @gthuang

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  • Loquendo

    In Italy we have rumors about Nuance acquire Loquendo: who knows the truth?

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  • b4374263

    Same rumor in Italy about Loquendo and Nuance

  • Ivona

    In Poland we have rumors of Nuance purchasing Ivona

  • Acapela

    It looks like also in France there are rumors about Nuance buying Acapela.

  • Denny

    sure… IBM, Svox, Loquendo, Acapela, Vlingo, VoiceWare… have you checked the Nuance Balance Sheet? There is no cash for buying everybody… and what about Antitrust regulations?

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  • John

    HI All, I have heard that Nuance is starting to fire some people in SVOX, specifically those taking care of ASR (the german branch of SVOX). Does anybody knows more about it?

  • No-Acapela

    Acapela was bought by Indians some years ago IIRC

  • http://www.verbio.com Victor

    The Market trend is crystal clear: Nuance monopolizing the speech technology..

    At least in Spain, France and in Latam we have Verbio ( http://www.verbio.com ).

    Let´s see David vs. Golliat.