Microsoft to Acquire Nuance for $19.6 Billion in Health-Care Bet

(Bloomberg) — Microsoft Corp. is buying speech-recognition pioneer Nuance Communications Inc. in an all-cash deal valued at $19.6 billion, gaining artificial-intelligence technology aimed at helping doctors predict patients’ needs and upgrading hospitals’ digital record-keeping.The software giant is offering to purchase Nuance at $56 a share, a 23% premium to Friday’s close, according to a statement Monday, which confirmed an earlier Bloomberg report. The deal marks Microsoft’s largest acquisition since LinkedIn Corp.The transaction value is derived by the $56 a share multiplied by about 350 million fully diluted shares of Nuance, including stock options and stock awards. The acquisition will decrease earnings by less than 1% in the year that begins July 1 and start to add to profit the following year, Microsoft said.Microsoft is tapping the company tied to the Siri voice technology to develop solutions that free doctors from note-taking and better determine health-care needs. It has been working with Nuance for two years on AI software that helps clinicians capture patient discussions and integrate them into electronic health records, and combining the speech technology company’s products into its Teams chat app for telehealth appointments.“The Nuance deal is a strategic no-brainer,” Wedbush Securities analyst Dan Ives wrote in a note Monday. It “fits like a glove into its health-care endeavors at a time in which hospitals and doctors are embracing next-generation AI capabilities,” Ives said, also praising Nuance Chief Executive Officer Mark Benjamin for leading a turnaround that has made his company a “unique asset” for Microsoft.Under Benjamin, Nuance has narrowed its focus and separated peripheral businesses, such as Cerence Inc., the automotive AI unit that was spun off two years ago. It also sold its imaging division to Thoma Bravo’s Kofax for $400 million, and zoomed in instead on partnerships with health-care providers and the biggest electronic medical records companies.Although the companies have partnered for two years, “together we can really bend the curve around health care – really improve the health outcomes and reduce costs,” Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said in an interview. “Every provider, that’s what they want coming out of this pandemic, they want to look for a trusted partner, in this case the combination of Nuance and Microsoft, to help them.”Microsoft has been trying to make inroads into the health-care sector, selling more cloud software to hospitals and doctors. As AI software gets better at parsing language and predicting medical needs, Nuance and Microsoft may be able to develop technology that searches for certain words in health records to make better suggestions to doctors for patient care. The acquisition is likely to deepen competition between Microsoft and Amazon.com Inc. The retail giant in recent years has pushed to sell its cloud-computing services and Alexa voice software to health-care companies. And Amazon and Alphabet Inc.’s Google are both also investing heavily in the field of artificial intelligence.As of Friday, Nuance’s shares had climbed 3.4% this year, giving the company that laid the groundwork for the technology used in Apple Inc.’s Siri a market value of almost $13 billion. The gain still trailed the 9.9% jump in the S&P 500 Index, while Microsoft added 15%. Microsoft shares were little changed Monday in New York, and Nuance rose 17%.Microsoft expects the deal to close this calendar year, and Nuance’s Benjamin will join Microsoft, retaining the CEO title and reporting to Microsoft cloud chief Scott Guthrie. Nuance’s financial results will be included as part of Microsoft’s intelligent cloud unit.Nuance, whose products include Dragon speech-recognition software, had net income of $91 million on revenue of $1.48 billion for its fiscal year ending Sept. 30., after losing $217 million the previous year.Nuance already has partnerships with large electronic medical records companies like Epic Systems Corp. and Cerner Corp., and Microsoft plans to continue those, Nadella said. The goal is “absolutely not” to try to replace those companies, he said. “If anything we want to double down on our partnership with Epic and Cerner.”Nuance and Microsoft also plan to offer the Dragon Ambient Experience software, used to ease how clinicians document patient care, in other industries where AI tools to turn speech into records can be useful, Benjamin said.Microsoft has also been increasingly focused on health care. In May, the software maker unveiled a package of industry-specific cloud software, and has also hired executives with medical backgrounds and researching machine learning and AI tools for areas including clinical trials.“The more we worked together, the more we realized that we’re solving some of the greatest, most challenging and complex scenarios and speed matters,” Benjamin said in an interview.Coincidentally, one of Microsoft’s Boston-area offices is located right next to Nuance’s headquarters.Still ActiveWith a market value of $1.93 trillion, the most in the world after Apple, Microsoft remains active on the deals front.Last month, Bloomberg News reported that the software giant was in talks to acquire Discord Inc., a video-game chat community, for more than $10 billion. It also bought video-game maker Zenimax Media Inc. for $7.5 billion in cash in a deal that closed this year.The Nuance deal would rank as Microsoft’s second-largest acquisition, behind the 2016 LinkedIn purchase at an equity value of more than $26 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The company, which had more than $130 billion in cash and short-term investments at the close of last year, said it will continue its stock buyback program, despite spending cash on Nuance.Microsoft entered the artificial intelligence space decades ago with research projects and an early focus by co-founder Bill Gates on finding ways to make it easier for people to speak to computers using plain English.The Nuance purchase will complement efforts in recent years, where Microsoft has assigned thousands of employees to its AI work and released tools customers can use to build applications that understand and translate speech, recognize images and detect anomalies. The company views AI as a key driver of future sales of cloud services.(Updates with analyst’s comment in fifth paragraph.)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

Cerner Scoops Up Kantar Heath For $375M

Cerner Corporation (NASDAQ: CERN) announced it is acquiring Kantar Health, a Kantar Group division, for $375 million in cash. Kantar Health’s life sciences research and consulting solutions will be combined with Cerner’s real-world data and technology collection. The Cerner Learning Health NetworkSM client consortium will engage more with life sciences companies for funded research studies. As a result of the transaction closing, the Kantar Health team located worldwide is joining Cerner and will integrate within its Strategic Growth business. The deal includes Kantar Health’s research and consulting solutions and global clients. Lynnette Cooke, head of Kantar Health, will continue to lead the team and join the Cerner leadership. Price Action: CERN shares are up 1.7% at $73.1 in the market trading session on the last check Thursday. See more from BenzingaClick here for options trades from BenzingaRoyalty Pharma Buys Royalty Interest In Cabozantinib Products From GSKArbutus Biopharma Stocks Is Trading Higher On Pan-Coronavirus Research Pact© 2021 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.

Is CERN Stock A Buy or Sell?

We at Insider Monkey have gone over 887 13F filings that hedge funds and prominent investors are required to file by the SEC The 13F filings show the funds’ and investors’ portfolio positions as of December 31st. In this article, we look at what those funds think of Cerner Corporation (NASDAQ:CERN) based on that data. […]

Cerner Finalizes Acquisition of Kantar Health

Pairing data and research expertise to revolutionize the discovery, development and commercialization of life sciences innovationsKANSAS CITY, Mo., April 01, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Cerner Corporation (NASDAQ: CERN), a global healthcare technology company, today announced the acquisition of Kantar Health, a division of Kantar Group, for $375 million in cash, subject to adjustment. Kantar Health’s rich life sciences expertise will be combined with Cerner’s robust collection of real-world data (RWD) and technology and is expected to accelerate innovation in life sciences research and improve patient outcomes worldwide. “The promise of real-world evidence to power drug discovery is right in front of us,” said Donald Trigg, president, Cerner. “Kantar Health is an important next step in building out the capabilities our growing network of provider clients need to fundamentally change the time and cost for clinical trials.” The highly experienced teams at Kantar Health bring deep understanding of the needs of the pharmaceutical and life sciences industry. Their research and consulting solutions, complemented by Cerner’s RWD, position Cerner to help life sciences companies and research organizations with all aspects of the therapeutic lifecycle. The growing Cerner Learning Health NetworkSM client consortium, which today represents 92 million patients and 776 million clinical encounters, will be able to engage more with life sciences companies for funded research studies. A stronger collaboration between providers and the pharmaceutical industry is enabled through this acquisition. It will help researchers generate more health insights and use differentiated RWD assets and expertise to address the most complex clinical research questions. As a result of the transaction closing, the Kantar Health team located around the world is joining Cerner and will be integrated within its Strategic Growth business. This includes Kantar Health’s research and consulting solutions and global clients. Lynnette Cooke, head of Kantar Health, will continue to lead the team and join the Cerner leadership. “Kantar Health and Cerner’s Strategic Growth business have a great deal in common, starting with a vision to advance patient care around the world. Culturally, we share the same values when it comes to how we develop our people, our offer and our client base. I’m excited to continue leading the team as we integrate with Cerner,” said Cooke. “I have great admiration for Cerner’s health technologies and am inspired by their strategic vision for future growth. Our collective capabilities and assets will enable the acceleration of innovation and elevate our expertise in addressing the most complex clinical research questions changing the way healthcare is developed and delivered.” About CernerCerner’s health technologies connect people and information systems at thousands of contracted provider facilities worldwide dedicated to creating smarter and better care for individuals and communities. Recognized globally for innovation, Cerner assists clinicians in making care decisions and assists organizations in managing the health of their populations. The company also offers an integrated clinical and financial system to help manage day-to-day revenue functions, as well as a wide range of services to support clinical, financial and operational needs, focused on people. For more information, visit Cerner.com, The Cerner Blog or connect on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter or The Cerner Podcast. Nasdaq: CERN. Health care is too important to stay the same. Contacts: Cerner Investor Contact: Allan Kells, (816) 201-2445, akells@cerner.comCerner Media Contact: Stephanie Greenwood, stephanie.greenwood@cerner.comKantar Media Contact: Ed Gemmell, ed.gemmell@Kantar.com All statements in this press release that do not directly and exclusively relate to historical facts constitute forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are based on the current beliefs, expectations and assumptions of Cerner’s management with respect to future events and are subject to a number of significant risks and uncertainties. It is important to note that Cerner’s performance, and actual results, financial condition or business could differ materially from those expressed in such forward-looking statements. The words “expected” and “position”, or the negative of these words, variations thereof or similar expressions are intended to identify such forward-looking statements. For example, our forward-looking statements include statements regarding the future benefits or synergies of the transaction. Factors that could cause or contribute to such differences include, but are not limited to: risks inherent with business acquisitions and integrations, such as difficulties and operational and financial risks associated with integrating Cerner and the acquired business generally and during the COVID-19 pandemic; the occurrence of any event, change or other circumstances that could make closing in a specific country impracticable; risks related to disruption of management time from ongoing business operations due to the transaction and integration; failure to realize the synergies, market opportunities and other benefits expected from the transaction; risk that the assets and business acquired may not continue to be commercially successful; the ability of Cerner and Kantar Health to retain customers and key personnel and to maintain relationships with key suppliers of the acquired business; unexpected costs, charges or expenses resulting from the transaction or the integration; litigation or claims relating to the transaction or the acquired assets and business; and the extent to which the COVID-19 pandemic and measures taken in response thereto could adversely affect the business acquired and the assumptions management has used in its evaluation of the transaction. Additional discussion of these and other risks, uncertainties and factors affecting Cerner’s business is contained in Cerner’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The reader should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements, since the statements speak only as of the date that they are made. Except as required by law, Cerner undertakes no obligation to update or revise forward-looking statements to reflect changed assumptions, the occurrence of unanticipated events, or changes in our business, results of operations or financial condition over time.

Cerner Named Best in KLAS For Behavioral Health, Global Acute Care

Interoperable Behavioral Health Technology Supporting Providers Amidst PandemicKANSAS CITY, Mo., Feb. 02, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Cerner Corporation (NASDAQ: CERN), a global leader in health care technology, today announced it achieved top rankings by KLAS Research: Best in KLAS for Behavioral Health (second consecutive year) and Global Acute Care – Middle East/Africa (third consecutive year). This signals Cerner’s commitment to helping health care organizations deliver quality patient care. “In a rapidly evolving global health care landscape and in the midst of a pandemic, Cerner is proud to have earned Best in KLAS recognition in multiple categories as an industry leader in product quality, usability and interoperability,” said Travis Dalton, chief client and services officer, Cerner, and president, Cerner Government Services. “We are humbled to partner with our clients as they strive to improve quality of care for their patients. Cerner is fully committed to delivering end to end innovative solutions to help our clients solve their most pressing challenges and enable them to achieve their mission.” A recent study by Kaiser Family Foundations says 53% of adults in the U.S. say mental health has negatively impacted them during the COVID-19 pandemic. As the industry continues to weather the pandemic, mental health providers are turning to Cerner’s Best in KLAS behavioral health technology tailored to accommodate the workflows of therapists and mental health providers to quickly adapt and help patients get on a quicker, more direct path to recovery. A variety of private and state government clients, including North Central Health Care, Wisconsin Department of Health Services and Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Development Services and other acute health systems, psychiatric, community behavioral health and residential facilities currently use Cerner Behavioral Health. As a global health care IT market share leader, Cerner was also recognized as Best in KLAS for Global Acute EHR in the Middle East/Africa Market. In a diverse global EHR market, the report shows Cerner is widely used, meeting and exceeding industry standards for clients around the world. Cerner has worked to become a technology leader in the Middle East/Africa market with strong client engagement and the delivery of personalized customer service and support. “Each year, thousands of health care professionals across the globe take the time to share their voice with KLAS. They know that sharing their perspective helps vendors to improve and helps their peers make better decisions. These conversations are a constant reminder to me of how necessary accurate, honest, and impartial reporting is in the health care industry,” said Adam Gale, president, KLAS. “The Best in KLAS report and the awards it contains set the standard of excellence for software and services firms. Vendors who win the title of “Best in KLAS” should celebrate and remember that providers now accept only the best from their products and services. The Best in KLAS award serves as a signal to provider and payer organizations that they should expect excellence from the winning vendors.” The Best in KLAS report aggregates feedback from thousands of health care providers across the world. KLAS conducts annual interview with thousands of providers and payers each month, who represent about 7,000 hospitals and clinics. About CernerCerner’s health technologies connect people and information systems at thousands of contracted provider facilities worldwide dedicated to creating smarter and better care for individuals and communities. Recognized globally for innovation, Cerner assists clinicians in making care decisions and assists organizations in managing the health of their populations. The company also offers an integrated clinical and financial system to help manage day-to-day revenue functions, as well as a wide range of services to support clinical, financial and operational needs, focused on people. For more information, visit Cerner.com, The Cerner Blog or connect on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter or The Cerner Podcast. Nasdaq: CERN. Health care is too important to stay the same. About KLASKLAS has been providing accurate, honest, and impartial insights for the healthcare IT (HIT) industry since 1996. The KLAS mission is to improve the world’s healthcare by amplifying the voice of providers and payers. The scope of our research is constantly expanding to best fit market needs as technology becomes increasingly sophisticated. KLAS finds the hard-to-get HIT data by building strong relationships with our payer and provider friends in the industry. Learn more about KLAS at klasresearch.com. Media Contacts: Cerner Stephanie Greenwood, Public Relations, stephanie.greenwood@cerner.com