A bankruptcy court in Delaware has approved ScanSoft's acquisition of most of the remaining assets of Belgian speech-technology vendor Lernout & Hauspie Speech Products, despite a challenge to the bidding process by SpeechWorks International.

ScanSoft chairman and CEO Paul Ricci said: "We're delighted to close the transaction and have begun transitioning L&H employees and assets in earnest. While much work lies ahead, we are especially encouraged by the positive response we've seen from our customers, partners, resellers and employees."

A Belgian court declared L&H bankrupt in October. The auction was held to sell-off assets to help pay off the company's $463 million debts.

Last month, Massachusetts-based ScanSoft was declared the winner of L&H's three core assets, including its text-to-speech and speech-recognition software technologies. Based on yesterday's closing stock price, ScanSoft's winning bid for those two assets, plus the Dragon Naturally Speaking line, was $37.5 million - $10 million in cash, a $3.5 million note and 7.4 million shares of ScanSoft stock.