Nuance extends $20M offer to buy Zi

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Nuance Communications has extended its previously announced offer to purchase all of the outstanding common shares of Zi Corporation approximately $20 million to Jan. 16, unless withdrawn or further extended by Nuance.

The initial tender offer, which expired on Jan. 2, has been extended past the holiday season to allow Zi shareholders additional time to consider the offer and tender their shares, according to the Burlington, Mass.-based Nuance. All other terms and conditions of the tender offer described in the offer to purchase and accompanying circular dated Nov. 26, 2008, as amended on Dec. 3, 2008, remain unchanged.

Nuance said its $0.40 per share cash offer represents a 25 percent premium over the closing price of the Calgary, Alberta-based Zi common shares on Nasdaq on Aug. 13, 2008; the last trading day prior to the public disclosure of Nuance’s initial proposal to Zi’s board of directors. The offer will be financed through Nuance’s existing cash on hand.

As of the close of business on Dec. 30, 2008, approximately 245,000 shares of Zi common shares were validly tendered and not withdrawn pursuant to the tender offer.

Paul Ricci, chairman and CEO at Nuance, said that the revised offer reflects recent adverse changes in market conditions and in Nuance’s assessment of Zi’s valuation following completion of a due diligence review.
Zi is a provider of text input solutions are embedded on mobile phones, hand-held computers, gaming consoles, PDAs, VoIP phones, telematic systems, television set-top boxes and other consumer electronic devices. These solutions are applicable for 12-button keypads, virtual or hardware keyboards, touch screens, dials, joysticks and virtually any other input method.