L&H expects Dragon acquisition to close in coming weeks; appoints Mr. Noboru Adachi President of L&H Japan.
21 May 2000 -- Lernout & Hauspie (NASDAQ: LHSP, EASDAQ: LHSP) (L&H) announced today
that the Hart-Scott-Rodino (HSR) waiting period related to its acquisition of
Dragon Systems, Inc. expired 19 May 2000. Subject to Dragon shareholder approval,
L&H can begin closing the transaction, which it expects will be completed in
the coming weeks.
L&H announced on 28 March that it had signed a definitive agreement to
acquire Dragon Systems of Newton, Mass., a privately held leader in speech and
language technology. The acquisition required a pre-merger notification filing
under the HSR Act, which imposes a thirty-day post-filing waiting period during
which a transaction may not be completed.
The waiting period may be extended if
the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) or Department of Justice (DOJ) issues a
request for additional information. On 19 April, L&H and Dragon filed HSR
notification and report forms with the FTC and DOJ.
The waiting period has expired without a request for additional information.
L&H believes the acquisition of Dragon will allow it to combine the best
of both companies' technologies to drive the use of speech and language in
emerging and mainstream markets.
In particular, L&H expects to accelerate
its pursuit of strategic market opportunities in areas such as handheld and
mobile devices, automotive, wireless application protocol (WAP), data mining,
and others. It also expects to step up development of speech and language
applications in key markets such as telephony and healthcare and to broaden its
international speech offerings.
Dragon wins Chinese and Japanese markets
"The overwhelmingly positive response to our recent introduction of Dragon
NaturallySpeaking into the Chinese and the Japanese market is evidence of the
ever increasing worldwide demand for solutions that can simplify everyday tasks
using speech," said Dr. Janet M. Baker, Chairman of the Board and Co-Founder of
"By pooling L&H's and Dragon's rich resources we create the
means to bring sophisticated speech and language technologies and products to an
even wider customer base, at a much quicker pace than in the past."
"The demand for speech and language solutions has expanded to include more
users worldwide and a much broader range of appliances than before," said Gaston
Bastiaens, president and CEO of L&H. "The integration of our company's
resources with those of Dragon will help us accelerate delivery of mainstream
market solutions such as NAK (code name) our prototype handheld device.
should also speed development of speech for areas that include mobile devices,
smart phones, wireless communications for the Internet and e-commerce,
intelligent search engines and audio mining solutions."
L&H appoints president for Japan office
L&H also announced today that it has appointed Mr. Noboru Adachi as
president of L&H Japan.
Mr. Adachi, a long-time executive of Mirubeni
Corporation of Japan, has extensive experience in international markets and in
Japan. He will report to Dr. Louis Woo, president of L&H Asia Pacific.
Mr. Adachi will help lead the company in its strategy to further build market
presence in Japan and in Asia overall by increasing emphasis on development of
new products and technologies for the Japanese market -- particularly for
telephony and embedded applications.
Such development efforts include Dragon
NaturallySpeaking products (subject to completion of the acquisition), Internet
translation offerings, and the award winning L&H RealSpeak
text-to-speech engine for telephony.
These efforts are also expected to help
L&H increase its already significant customer base in Japan, which currently
includes NEC, Hitachi, Sega, Pioneer, Alpine, Fuji-Xerox, Seiko and others.
Dragon Systems customers in Japan include Sony and Fujitsu.