Athenahealth fetches $5.7 billion cash buyout offer

Athenahealth shares soared Monday after the struggling medical billing software maker received a $5.7 billion cash buyout offer.

Veritas Capital and Evergreen Coast Capital plan to give athenahealth shareholders $135 per share in a deal that will take the company private. That represents a roughly 12 percent premium over the closing price of athenahealth shares on Friday.

But the latest deal is smaller than a $6.5 billion bid that prominent investor Elliott Management Corp. made in May.

Elliott Management made its offer for $160 per share in cash after saying it had grown frustrated with athenahealth's struggles, which included missed guidance targets and churning through five chief financial officers in the last four years.

Athenahealth, based in Watertown, Massachusetts, makes medical record, revenue cycle and care coordination products and delivers most of it through the cloud. On Friday, it reported third-quarter earnings that topped analyst expectations, but its revenue fell well short of the average forecast on Wall Street.

Evergreen Coast Capital is an Elliott affiliate that invests in technology. Athenahealth said Monday that Elliott Management supported the latest deal offer.

Evergreen and Veritas plan to pair athenahealth with a company Veritas bought earlier this year, Virence Health.

Athenahealth's board of directors unanimously approved the deal, which the company expects to close in the first quarter. Shareholders still have to vote on it.

Athenahealth stock jumped almost 10 percent, to $131.97, at the opening bell Monday.

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