Athenahealth board begins process to consider sale, merger: 3 things to know

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The athenahealth board of directors initiated a process to consider "strategic alternatives" for the company, including a possible sale or merger, among other options.

Here are three things to know about the decision:

1. Athenahealth confirmed its intent to consider a sale or merger of the company in a June 6 statement. However, the company emphasized "there can be no assurance that the review being undertaken will result in a merger, sale or other business combination involving the company."

2. The announcement follows Elliot Management's recent unsolicited bid for athenahealth in early May. In a May 24 letter, Elliott Management suggested athenahealth authorize its advisers to initiate a sale process for the company, during which the firm would participate as a bidder.

3. Athenahealth said it does not intend to make any further announcements regarding its review until the board has approved a specific transaction.

"We approach this process with an open mind and a commitment to continuing to strengthen the company — including its rich data asset, platform strategy and culture of innovation," Jeff Immelt, executive chairman of athenahealth, said in the company's June 6 statement. "We are fully focused on serving the best interests of our shareholders, employees and clients."

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