Nuance Communications, the company behind Apple's mobile assistant Siri, is reportedly in talks with Samsung regarding a potential sale of the firm.
According to the Wall Street Journal, which cited sources familiar with the matter, Nuance has held talks not only with Apple's rival Samsung, but a number of private equity firms.
It is not known how far the talks have progressed, or if a deal is close to being reached.
The Burlington, Mass., company develops speech recognition software and voice-based technology used in devices including GPS systems, smartphones and television sets. Nuance technology is behind Apple's Siri, and is also used in Samsung products. In September, the firm announced that its technology would be more deeply integrated within Samsung's S-Voice software and the South Korean firm's wearable technology.
Last year, rumors circulated surrounding Apple and a potential purchase of Nuance following a chance comment by Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, who stated the iPad and iPhone maker had bought the firm. Although quickly corrected, it is still believed that Apple held talks with Nuance over a potential sale, but a deal was never reached.
Nuance, which counts activist investor Carl Icahn as its biggest shareholder, has a market value of almost $6 billion. Last year, Icahn attempted to put rumors of an Apple-Nuance acquisition to rest, stating that a deal "is something I would never micromanage," and he does not possess "the expertise or the presumption" to push for a buyout.
While a potential acquisition was estimated to be worth $7 billion, Apple instead purchased Beats, a deal confirmed last month. The subscription music and headset company was acquired by Apple for approximately $2.6 billion in cash, plus $400 million in stock.
Although Nuance's technology is used by companies including Apple and Samsung, the firm has reported a net loss for six quarters in a row, and last month projected Q3 revenue of between $488 -- $508 million, below analyst estimates.
At market close, Nuance shares rose rose 9.7 percent to $18.76 after the release of the report.