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Siri software maker Nuance has held sale talks: WSJ

(Reuters) - Software maker Nuance Communications Inc has held talks with potential buyers for its sale, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

The company, whose software powers the Siri feature on Apple Inc's iPhones, recently spoke to Samsung Electronics Co and some private equity firms for a possible deal, the Journal said. (http://r.reuters.com/vun22w)

Shares of Nuance, which has been struggling to hold on to its pricing in the handsets business, rose as much as 11 percent to $19.04 on Monday on the Nasdaq.

Carl Icahn reported a 15.9 percent increase in his stake in the company to 60.8 million shares for the quarter ended Dec. 31.

The activist investor, Nuance's largest shareholder, held about 19.08 percent stake in the company as of March 31, 2014.

The company's current market capitalization is about $5.45 billion, according to Thomson Reuters data.

It wasn't clear where the talks, some of which happened earlier this year, currently stand and whether they would result in a deal, the Journal said.

(Reporting By Aurindom Mukherjee in Bangalore; Editing by Maju Samuel)

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