L&H goes to pieces at final auction

U.S. imaging-software company ScanSoft Inc. paid around US$39.5 million for the bulk of the assets of fallen Belgian software developer Lernout & Hauspie Speech Products NV (L&H) in an auction held in New York earlier this week, the companies announced Wednesday.

ScanSoft acquired the major portion of L&H's core speech- and language-technology business, including the text-to-speech and speech-recognition engines and the Dragon NaturallySpeaking product line, ScanSoft and L&H said in separate statements.

The winning bid comprises $10 million in cash, a $3.5 million note and $26 million in ScanSoft stock, based on the Nov. 26 closing price. ScanSoft plans to retain at least 150 L&H employees in Belgium and the U.S., the companies said. About 450 people work for the parts of L&H acquired by ScanSoft, according to an L&H spokesman.

The founders of Dragon Systems Inc., James and Janet Baker, picked up L&H's audio search engine technology assets, which they helped develop, for $750,000 through a new company called Dragon Catalyst LLC, L&H said. They had previously sold their company to L&H for $460 million of now-worthless L&H stock.

Of the leftovers, speech-recognition products that were part of the Interactive Systems Incorporated (ISI) division were bought by Multimodal Technologies Inc., a company formed by ISI management, while L&H's Intelligent Content Management and Knexys divisions were acquired by Vantage Technology Holding, L&H said.

The sales of the assets are subject to final approval by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware and the commercial court in Ieper, Belgium, L&H said.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Joris Evers

PC World
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?