Nuance Communications Inc. (NASDAQ:NUAN), maker of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s Siri digital personal assistant, may be trying to sell itself after all. However, contrary to previous speculations, it doesn’t look like Apple will be the buyer, as ValueWalk previously reported.
Nuance talks to Samsung
The Wall Street Journal cites unnamed sources who are aware of past negotiations between Nuance Communications Inc. (NASDAQ:NUAN) and prospective buyers. The sources said Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (LON:BC94) (KRX:005930) and private-equity firms were among potential buyers. However, they also said that it’s unclear exactly where the alleged sales talks are or whether they will result in a deal.
In addition to making the voice language recognition technology for Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s Siri, Nuance Communications Inc. (NASDAQ:NUAN)’s tech is also in handsets, TVs and tablets made by Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (LON:BC94) (KRX:005930). Nuance also said last fall that its technology will be included in Samsung’s upcoming wearable devices as well.
Nuance Communications Inc. (NASDAQ:NUAN)’s other big customers include Daimler AG (ETR:DAI) (FRA:DAI) (OTCMKTS:DDAIF), Panasonic Corporation (ADR) (OTCMKTS:PCRFY) (TYO:6752), and Nintendo Co., Ltd (TYO:7974) (OTCMKTS:NTDOY).
Carl Icahn gets into Nuance
Activist investor Carl Icahn got into Nuance Communications Inc. (NASDAQ:NUAN) last year, upping his stake in the company to almost 19%, making him the company’s largest shareholder. We’ve been reporting rumblings for the last year or so that he would push for a sale of the company. ValueWalk first reported that Carl Icahn was pushing for a sale in May of 2013, but that it was in no way connected to his investment in Apple. Just last month, rumors that a sale was in Nuance’s near future were renewed. Last year when speculation that Icahn would push for a sale of Nuance first surfaced, he said he wouldn’t push Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) to buy the company. At that time, he had begun to take interest in Apple itself as well.
Icahn put two of his representatives on Nuance Communications Inc. (NASDAQ:NUAN)’s board of directors last year. According to The Wall Street Journal, Icahn’s involvement in the company can increase the odds that there will be either a sale or a significant share repurchase. For example, Lawson Software Inc. sold itself to an affiliate of Golden Gate Capital and Infor after Icahn bought enough shares to become its largest shareholder.