Private-equity firms Veritas Capital and Evergreen Coast Capital, a subsidiary of Elliott Management, have purchased Athenahealth Inc. (ATHN) for $5.7 billion cash, confirming rumors of a potential sale that were reported over the weekend.
The two firms purchased the Massachusetts-based healthcare software company for $135 per share. That's well above Friday's close of $120.35, but lower than the $160 per share that Elliott offered for the company in May. Athenahealth shares rose 9.7% on Monday to $132.03.
The companies announced the deal Monday morning. Elliott already owns about a 9% stake in the firm and had reportedly been pushing for a sale. Athenahealth cut jobs and named Jeffrey Immelt, former CEO of General Electric (GE) , as its chairman earlier this year as part of a restructuring.
ATHN had been seen as a likely take-out candidate ever since CEO Jonathan Bush, who founded the company some 21 years ago, stepped down earlier this year. Bush, a nephew of former President George H.W. Bush, resigned after a media report claimed he had abused his former wife some 14 years ago.
Athenahealth had just released third-quarter earnings on Friday and set a conference call for Monday afternoon to discuss the results and the company's outlook. The earnings call's delay reportedly raised speculation that a takeover deal could be imminent.
(This story has been updated.)