Health-care technology company Athenahealth and its colorful chief executive Jonathan Bush have contended with critics in the past. But now they face their first major activist in Elliott Management – one with a track record for rebooting management and selling companies.
Elliott disclosed a 9.2 percent economic exposure to Athenahealth's common stock on Thursday through ownership of shares and derivatives. Shareholders applauded the investment, sending the stock 22 percent higher in Thursday trading.
Elliott declined to comment beyond the filing, where it said that it believes there are "numerous operational and strategic opportunities to maximize shareholder value. The filing said Elliott would be seeking to discuss its ideas with Athenahealth's board.
In the near term, at least, Elliott and Athenahealth, a maker of electronic patient records software, intend to keep their dialogue private, according to people familiar with the situation. Elliott did not file a public presentation calling for specific changes.
But if the firm's past moves are any indication, Athenahealth could be facing some big potential changes. And based on the huge jump in its share price, other investors are anticipating a big revamp.