FRAMINGHAM (03/31/2000) - Speech technology company Lernout & Hauspie Speech Products NV (L&H) has agreed to acquire rival Dragon Systems Inc. in a deal valued at $592.7 million. L&H, which splits its headquarters between Ieper, Belgium, and Burlington, Massachusetts, said it hopes to immediately gain access to new markets from the extra languages that Dragon supports. The company expects to leverage Newton, Massachusetts.-based Dragon's resources in telephony, medical, legal and health care applications to expand its offerings and customer base, L&H officials said.

Nortel Networks Corp. last week announced the establishment of a business-to-business services unit and an alliance with Andersen Consulting in Chicago to help develop and sell some of the new unit's products. Brampton, Ontario-based Nortel retooled two recent acquisitions, San Jose-based Clarify Inc. and Bohemia, New York-based Periphonics Corp., to form the new unit.

Cisco Systems Inc. last week said it will purchase SightPath Inc., a privately held, Waltham, Massachusetts-based maker of Internet appliances, in an all-stock deal valued at about $800 million. Cisco is interested in SightPath's content-delivery appliances, which will help Cisco's customers deliver live streaming media, high-reliability hosting and other capabilities, according to a statement from San Jose-based Cisco.

Xerox Corp. in Stamford, Connecticut, denied published reports that it will cut 3,000 to 5,000 jobs from its workforce of 94,600 employees. A Xerox spokeswoman last week declined to comment on possible job cuts or a restructuring charge.

But the company said in January that it expected "a substantial restructuring charge" for the first quarter, which ended March 31.

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More about AndersenAndersenAndersen ConsultingCiscoDragon SystemsHauspie Speech ProductsLernout & HauspieNortel NetworksPeriphonicsSightPathXerox

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