November 12, 2018 / 12:51 AM / a month ago

Nuance Communications nears sale of imaging division-sources

NEW YORK, Nov 11 (Reuters) - Speech-recognition software provider Nuance Communications Inc is nearing a deal to sell its imaging division to Kofax, a company owned by private equity firm Thoma Bravo LLC, for about $500 million, people familiar with the matter said on Sunday.

The divestment comes as Nuance, which has a market capitalization of roughly $5 billion, is seeking to focus on its most profitable businesses. It is the first major move by Mark Benjamin, who took over as Nuance's CEO in March.

The deal could be announced as early as this week, the sources said, cautioning that negotiations could always fall apart at the last minute and asking not to be identified because the matter is confidential.

Nuance, Thoma Bravo and Kofax could not be reached for comment.

Thoma Bravo's Kofax makes software that allows users to capture and scan images to be used in digital formats.

Nuance's imaging unit generated $217 million in revenue last year and represents about 11 percent of the Burlington, Massachusett-based company's annual revenue.

Nuance, whose voice recognition technology helped launch Apple Inc's assistant Siri, makes software for sectors ranging from healthcare to the automotive industries.

Thoma Bravo formed the company Kofax in 2017 after it combined Hyland Software and the enterprise business it acquired from printer company Lexmark. (Reporting by Liana B. Baker in New York; Editing by Sandra Maler)

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