- Athenahealth’s largest shareholder, Janus Henderson Group, is pressing the cloud-based health IT vendor to put itself up for sale.
- On May 7, Elliott Management sent athenahealth an unsolicited acquisition offer for $160 a share, a deal valued around $6.5 billion. Elliott wrote on May 14 that it has not heard back from athenahealth and "we made clear that we may be able to raise our offer substantially if given access to diligence."
- In a May 15 financial filing, JHG said it has encouraged athenahealth’s board of directors to begin formal proceedings to sell the company. JHG holds an 11.9% stake in athenahealth. The filing also stated JHG expressed concerns over athenahealth's management and execution of strategic initiatives.
Athenahealth has yet to publicly respond to Elliott’s bid, which could set the firm up for a nasty battle. “We find this lack of communication concerning because, unfortunately, this is the same pattern of behavior we experienced when we tried to get the company to engage in November,” Elliott Management said in a May 14 letter to the board of directors.
Athenahealth issued a statement after Elliott’s overture saying its board was reviewing the proposal and would choose the course of action it felt best served the interests of the company and shareholders.
Athenahealth has angled to adjust to changing demand and adapt its products for new consumers, cutting 9% of its workforce and restructuring management layers, among other things. The company has also retrofitted its network to shift toward a platform-as-a-service EHR model.
Last month, athenahealth posted a 12% gain in total revenue in the first quarter of 2018, but noted bookings had dropped to $52.2 million, down from $77.3 million the prior year.
The company has not publicly acknowledged JHG’s statement, but the fact its coming from the top shareholder could force the board to seriously consider Elliott’s proposal or others that might come its way.
Elliott has shown no sign of backing down from its bid, but athenahealth CEO Jonathan Bush is also not known for walking away from a fight, especially when it concerns the company he co-founded more than 20 years ago.