RCM company nThrive seeks merger with athenahealth

RCM company nThrive has proposed a merger with athenahealth, the healthcare technology company that's been in talks for months that it may sell itself, according to the New York Post.

NThrive is a privately held company that specializes in providing customer service for medical record-keeping to hospitals and physicians. Its chief executive, Joel Hackney, worked with athenahealth executive chairman Jeff Immelt at GE.

Terms of the proposed deal were not disclosed, but the Post reports a bid in the $135 per share range would be likely, sources said.

Should athenahealth merge with nThrive, its shareholders would receive a dividend to stabilize stock prices. Shares of the company are down 21 percent since mid-July, closing at $133.60 on Sept. 28.

Without a sale or merger, the share price could drop below $120, analysts told the Post.

In May, activist investor Elliott Management proposed a bid to acquire athenahealth for $160 a share. The firm has since lowered its bid to about $135 a share, the Post reports. UnitedHealth and Cerner were once rumored to be in the running to acquire athenahealth, but have since dropped out.

Athenahealth took final bids Sept. 27 and is deciding which direction to pursue, sources told the publication.

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