by Christopher Freeburn | August 30, 2013 10:18 am
Shares of Nuance Communications (NUAN) climbed more than 3% in Friday morning trading after regulatory filings revealed that an activist investor has increased his holdings of the software maker’s stock.
According to documents submitted to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Carl Icahn’s investment funds now own 16.9% of Nuance’s shares. Prior filings had indicated that Icahn controlled a 16.4% stake in the company, Bloomberg noted.
The regulatory filings indicate that Icahn might attempt to place a representative on Nuance’s board of directors. Icahn, who normally tries to force undervalued companies to shed assets or seek a buyer, could be looking to force Nuance to sell itself to a range of possible suitors, including IBM (IBM), Microsoft (MSFT), Google (GOOG) or Apple (AAPL), one Wall Street analyst speculated.
Nuance makes voice recognition software. The company’s shares surged in April when Icahn first revealed that he had taken a stake in the firm.
On Thursday, Nuance adopted a new stockholders’ rights plan aimed at preventing a shareholder from gaining a controlling stake in the company through open market transactions.
Icahn recently took a stake in Apple thought to be worth about $1.5 billion and will meet with CEO Tim Cook next month to discuss the company’s stock buyback plans.
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