Private equity firm Quadriga Capital sold its 35% stake in speech recording, processing and analysis provider Speech Technology Center (STC) to Gazprombank. The founders of STC also sold part of their stakes to Gazprombank. As a result, Gazprombank became the largest shareholder of Speech Technology Center, the company announced.
Gazprombank could have paid $32 million for its stake in Speech Technology Center, valuing at more than $50 million, according to CNews. The deal is a huge pay-out for Quadriga Capital that invested $1 million in STC in 2003. Quadriga previously tried to sell STC to Nokia or Nuance.
Founded in 1990, Speech Technology Center is based in St. Petersburg, Russia. STC has subsidiaries in the U.S. (SpeechPro), Germany, and Mexico. Speech Technology Center reported sales of $18 million in 2010. Its operating profit margin is about 25%. Speech Technology Center (or “Центр Речевых Технологий (ЦРТ)” in Russian) offers multi-channel and hand-held digital recording, noise cancellation, speech enhancement, biometric authentication and identification solutions. STC is a leading developer of speech recognition and synthesis engines for the Russian language.