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Carl Icahn’s stake in Nuance grows to 16.9 pct.

Updated at: 09/01/2013 9:05 AM
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(AP) NEW YORK - Billionaire investor Carl Icahn has raised his stake in Nuance Communications over the past month to almost 17 percent, nearing a threshold that would trigger defensive mechanisms to thwart a hostile takeover.

A regulatory filing shows that Icahn held about 52.4 million shares, or 16.9 percent of Nuance’s outstanding shares, as of Thursday.

The disclosure tallied share purchases over several weeks, beginning Aug. 7.

Earlier this month, the voice recognition software maker adopted a plan to shield itself against a hostile takeover in the event a person or group acquired 20 percent or more of the company’s stock without board approval.

When such "poison pills" kick in, they enable existing stockholders to acquire additional shares at lower prices.

Shares of Nuance Communications Inc. are down 14 percent this year.

(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)