Nuance buys Philips Speech Recognition for nearly $100M

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Philips' speech recognition business no longer a “strategic fit.” Image Source: Philips Speech Recognition Systems  

Royal Philips Electronics has sold its speech recognition business, Philips Speech Recognition Systems, to Nuance Communications for approximately €65 million ($95 million U.S.) in cash.

Based in Vienna, Austria, Philips Speech Recognition Systems is active in speech recognition technology for the document creation market, focusing on the professional medical and legal sectors.

Applications powered by SpeechMagic, Philips’ speech recognition systems platform, “tend to focus more on improving document creation and information management, as part of a hospital’s administrative process, and are therefore not considered a strategic fit for Philips’ Healthcare business,” according to the company.

“Philips Speech Recognition Systems provides a solid foundation of customers, partners and European language solutions as we expand our business in Europe and enable broader geographical leverage for Nuance’s portfolio of healthcare products and services,” said Paul Ricci, chairman and CEO at Nuance.

Philips said it expects to book a net gain of about €40 million ($56.15 million U.S.), to be accounted for in the financial results of Philips’ healthcare sector in the company’s third quarter 2008 results. In 2007, Philips Speech Recognition Systems recorded sales of approximately €25 million ($35 million U.S.), the company said.