Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Stay on top of the latest market trends

Subscribe to Axios Markets for the latest market trends and economic insights. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Now that Jonathan Bush is out at Athenahealth, the health tech company he co-founded, expect an intense bidding war.

The big picture: The revelations of Bush's assault on his ex-wife and allegations of inappropriate sexual behavior at work tipped the scales for his ouster, all while Paul Singer's hedge fund was breathing down Athenahealth's neck. Even though the company has underwhelmed its investors, its cloud-based technology and data in the rapidly digitizing health care system are extremely appealing to a wide range of suitors.

The bottom line: Physicians have widely adopted Athenahealth's records and billing software, and the company is rather profitable (Wall Street just wants more). Interested parties are going to pounce quickly because more physicians and small hospitals are looking to companies like Athenahealth to meet federal health IT requirements and improve their billing.

The potential suitors:

  • Elliott Management: Singer's hedge fund made the initial offer of $6.5 billion, or $160 per share, and nearly every broker thinks that number is now a floor. Elliott has already indicated it is willing to bid higher.
  • Cerner: The Wall Street Journal first hinted Cerner could be interested in buying Athenahealth. It makes some sense. Cerner dominates electronic records and billing in hospitals, while Athenahealth has the physician market.
    • But Jamie Stockton, a Wells Fargo analyst who met with Cerner CEO Brent Shafer recently, is telling investors not to bank on it. "Cerner basically shot that down" because of the high price tag and investment needed in physician technology, Stockton said of a potential Cerner-Athenahealth merger. It's difficult to rule Cerner out, though.
  • A big tech player: Microsoft, Oracle, Salesforce and even Apple are being floated as possible outside suitors — if a broader software company wants to enter health care in a significant way.
  • Private equity: When is private equity not interested in a profitable opportunity?

1 big number: Bush still has a lot riding on any deal. He owns more than 1.05 million shares (about 2.6% of the company) and stands to pocket $190 million if Athenahealth is sold for $180 per share.

Who to watch: Jeff Immelt — Athenahealth's recently installed chairman, who led GE into a "rapid unraveling" — was named executive chairman following Bush's departure. An Athenahealth spokesperson would not elaborate what exactly that means, but Immelt clearly will have a big role in deciding the fate of a health care company he's been part of for just four months.

Go deeper

Cuomo asks New York AG and chief judge to choose "independent" investigator into sexual harassment claims

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo at a press conference on Feb. 24. Photo: Seth Wenig/pool/AFP via Getty Images

A special counselor to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo released a statement on Sunday asking the state's attorney general and chief judge to jointly pick an "independent and qualified lawyer in private practice without political affiliation" to investigate claims of sexual harassment against the governor.

The state of play: The statement is an about-face from Cuomo, who had previously selected a former judge close to a top aide to lead the investigation, the New York Times reported, a move that was widely criticized.

Republican Sen. Sasse slams Nebraska GOP for "weird worship" of Trump after state party rebuke

Sen. Ben Sasse, (R-Neb.) Photo: Andrew Harnik - Pool/Getty Images

The Nebraska Republican Party on Saturday formally "rebuked" Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) for his vote to impeach former President Trump earlier this year, though it stopped short of a formal censure, CNN reports.

Why it matters: Sasse is the latest among a slate of Republicans who have faced some sort of punishment from their state party apparatus after voting to impeach the former president. The senator responded statement Saturday, per the Omaha World-Herald, saying "most Nebraskans don't think politics should be about the weird worship of one dude."

Cuomo barraged by fellow Dems after second harassment accusation

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo faced a barrage of criticism from fellow Democrats after The New York Times reported that the second former aide in four days had accused him of sexual harassment.

Why it matters: Cuomo had faced a revolt from legislators for his handling of nursing-home deaths from COVID. Now, the scandal is acutely personal, with obviously grave political risk.