Nuance to Acquire Speech Software Firm SVOX

[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 Editor of Xconomy Boston. E-mail him at gthuang [at] xconomy.com. Follow @gthuang

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