Speech recognition specialist Nuance Communications has apparently put itself for sale according to a report published by the Wall Street Journal, citing sources close to the process.
The 40 year old company provides voice recognition products and services to the likes of Apple (who uses it for Siri) and Samsung; the latter is said to be the most likely suitor.
Shares of Nuance rose by nearly 10 % since rumours emerged, pushing the company's market capitalisation to nearly $6 billion (about £3.5 billion, AUD6.5 billion).
Last year, Samsung clearly spelt out the fact that it wanted to acquire more companies and currently sits on a cash chest of about $60 billion (about £35 billion, AUD65 billion).
Panasonic, Nintendo and Daimler AG are some of Nuance's most recognisable customers. Interestingly, the voice recognition technologies come from a flurry of other acquisitions (Lernout & Hauspie, Dragon) as well as IBM's patents speech tehnology rights.
Voice recognition however is only a small part of what Nuance does. It also offers virtual assistants, text-to-speech services, business analysis and visualization tools, optical character recognition software as well as document management solutions across a wide range of verticals.
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