Business

Nuance Communications deploys shareholder rights plan as Icahn ownership stake grows

Carl Icahn (left) has raised his stake in Nuance, led by Paul Ricci (right), to 16 percent.
Carl Icahn (left) has raised his stake in Nuance, led by Paul Ricci (right), to 16 percent.

This is a summary. To read the whole story subscribe to BostonGlobe.com

With activist investor Carl Icahn bearing down, Nuance Communications Inc. has deployed a new line of defense that could be used to block the billionaire from strengthening his control over the speech recognition powerhouse.

The Burlington company behind Dragon software and Siri on the Apple iPhone enacted a plan Tuesday that would effectively prevent any outside investor from gaining 20 percent ownership of the firm.

It came 12 days after Icahn increased his stake in Nuance to 16 percent.

Nuance said the implementation of its stockholder rights plan — a tactic often referred to as a poison pill — was not prompted by any individual investor or group. But one analyst said it would throw a wrench into any effort by Icahn to assume control of the firm.

Full story for BostonGlobe.com subscribers.

Get the full story with unlimited access to BostonGlobe.com.

Just 99 cents for four weeks.

Share