Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/12/30/nuance_buys_spinvox/

Nuance scoops up Spinvox

Voice-to-text-to-human. Or something

By Kelly Fiveash

Posted in Mobile, 30th December 2009 15:52 GMT

US speech recognition outfit Nuance Communications has bought Spinvox for £64m ($102.5m).

Massachusetts-based Nuance had made a $150m offer for Spinvox, which the British firm was said to be "close to accepting" in mid-December.

Today Nuance confirmed it had bought Spinvox in a $66m cash and $36.5m, or 2.3m shares, stock deal.

Nuance had first approached Spinvox as a potential suitor in September this year. Not long after that the British company began laying off staff at its Marlow headquarters.

Spinvox, in a humiliating climbdown, was forced to admit in the summer that it needed humans in call centres to supplement its technology.

In August one of its backers, John Botts, extended a new loan to the firm through his Tisbury Master Fund.

It's understood that Botts rolled over his loan - which was expected to be paid by mid-December - to next month in order that the Nuance deal could proceed.

“With SpinVox’s robust infrastructure, language support and operational experience, we will broaden the reach and capabilities of our platform,” said Nuance voice-to-text services veep John Pollard. ®