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Analysis

Athenahealth Pushes Back Q3 Earnings Amid Veritas-Elliott Talks

By Jack O'Brien  
   November 02, 2018

The health technology servicer unexpectedly delayed releasing its Q3 earnings report Thursday afternoon as reports surface about multiple bidders seeking to purchase the company.

Watertown, Massachusetts-based aethnahealth pushed back releasing its Q3 earnings report and conference call as the talks continue with Veritas Capital and Elliott Management Corp. about a potential acquisition of the company.

The new announced time for earnings will be Friday, November 9 after the markets close, with an investor conference call scheduled for Monday, November 12 at 5 p.m. EST., according to a company press release issued Thursday afternoon.

While athenahealth did not elaborate on the weeklong delay in the announcement, there have been multiple press reports recently suggesting that the company is close to being acquired by Veritas Capital and Elliott Management in a joint bid.

Bloomberg reported on Wednesday that Veritas and Elliott were engaged in ongoing negotiations to purchase the embattled health technology servicer. The basic framework of the deal would see Elliott increase its investment stake beyond the current 9%, according to the report.

Related: athenahealth is near deal with Veritas Capital, Elliott

A representative for athenahealth did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In early October, The New York Post reported that athenahealth was reaching out to investors that expressed prior interest in purchasing the company.

Related: athenahealth is reaching out to previously rejected suitors

However, these potential suitors were offering far lower bids than billionaire hedge fund manager Paul Singer, owner of Elliott Management Corp., had offered in May. Singer proposed purchasing athenahealth at $160 per share, per due diligence.

After seeing the company's financial records though, Singer backed off his bid, and during the next month Elliott encouraged then-CEO Jonathan Bush to resign after reports surfaced of domestic violence and misconduct.

Related: Paul Singer balks at $160 per share athenahealth bid

Despite an eventful run during Q2, athenahealth managed to post a solid quarterly earnings report in late July. However, upon news of the delayed Q3 earnings report, athenahealth's stock was down more than 1.72% during early trading Friday morning.

Jack O'Brien is the finance editor at HealthLeaders, a Simplify Compliance brand.


KEY TAKEAWAYS

athenahealth's rescheduled earnings report will be released November 9 after the markets close.

The decision comes amid talks of a joint bid between Veritas Capital and Elliott Management to purchase the company.

The health technology servicer's stock was trading down by more than 1.7% early Friday morning.


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