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Nuance's $35 Million Hostile Bid For Zi Ends

Nuance Communications' hostile bid to acquire a very reluctant Zi Corp. has ended in a love fest with both companies hailing Nuance's takeover of the mobile search firm for about $35 million.

Nuance made its first offer for Zi last August, but Zi, which provides search, input, and advertising solutions, resisted the offer even though it represented value that was twice the trading value of Zi's then-recent stock price.

Upping the ante in the hostile bid, Nuance then sued Zi for patent infringement. Now, however, all is sweetness and light between the two companies.

"The two companies share a commitment to advance a portfolio of intelligent input and search capabilities on mobile devices in more than 80 languages and dialects to best serve our global customers and partners," said Steve Chambers, who is president of Nuance's Mobile-Enterprise & Consumer Services unit, in a statement. Nuance expects the acquisition to beef up its text-input technology, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region.

Zi CEO Milos Djokovic said the deal -- $17 million in cash and $18 million in Nuance stock -- is good for the company's shareholders and recommended that they approve it. "We expect this transaction to benefit our customers by providing them access to Nuance's robust product line and technical expertise across more language markets than ever before," Djokovic said.

A provider of speech and imaging technology to businesses and consumers, Nuance said Zi's mobile search and text input will complement Nuance's touch and speech interfaces used with mobile devices.

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