Athenahealth Extends Deadline for Bids, Talks Continue

(Bloomberg) -- Athenahealth Inc. has pushed out a bid deadline for potential acquirers by a few weeks as it talks with at least two suitors, including Elliott Management Corp., that remain interested in the health records technology company, according to people familiar with the matter.

Elliott has partnered up with private equity firm Bain Capital, and is actively evaluating a potential deal, as is at least one other strategic bidder, the people said. The people asked not to be identified because the talks are private.

Athenahealth shares fell as much as 11 percent on Tuesday after the New York Post cited sources saying that Elliott was backing away from a May proposal to pay $160 a share for Athenahealth and that it might reduce its offer.

The health company’s shares were down 4.3 percent to $136.91 at 1:29 p.m. in New York.

Representatives for Elliott and Athenahealth declined to comment.

Elliott, which is run by investor Paul Singer, went public with a stake in Athenahealth last year. In May of this year, the fund said it would be interested in buying the company for $160 a share, and said the company had been mismanaged.

In June, AthenaHealth Chief Executive Officer Jonathan Bush left his post after details emerged from a video of him making suggestive remarks about an employee at a company gathering, as did abuse allegations made by his now ex-wife. Bush and his ex-wife said at the time that they had put the issue behind them.

In an interview with the New Yorker, Bush said that he suspected Elliott was behind some of the revelations. The hedge fund has said that it was not.

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