Nuance to buy eScription

After Dictaphone in 2006, it is eScription’s turn to merge with Nuance. Here is an X-ray of the transaction that is about to take place in the speech-recognition-vendor supermarket:

  • Seller: eScription, a software vendor specializing in transcription, back-end speech recognition and workflow management applications for healthcare.
  • Buyer: Nuance Communications, giant provider of speech technology solutions – such as Dictaphone and Dragon Naturally Speaking – for consumers and businesses around the world.
  • Value: $400 million (compared to $357 million paid for Dictaphone in February 2006)
  • Payment:
    • $340 million in cash
    • $23 million in Nuance common stock
    • Assumption of vested employee options with a value of about $37 million
  • Time frame: deal is expected to close in Nuance’s fiscal third quarter of 2008.
  • Claimed objectives:
    • “Enhance Nuance’s ability to provide advanced transcription solutions”
    • “Evolve healthcare documentation and lower transcription costs by more than $1 billion over the next few years.”

The piece of news went public yesterday in the form of an official press release. The question is not so much whether this new deal will shake the competitive landscape, but more along the lines of a deeper, truly existential concern: “who’s next on Nuance’s shopping list?”

> Read press release

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