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    Athenahealth is near deal with Veritas Capital, Elliott

    NEW YORK — Private equity firm Veritas Capital has teamed up with Elliott Management Corp. to bid for health care technology company Athenahealth Inc., according to people familiar with the matter.

    The firms are in advanced talks with Athenahealth about a deal that would see Elliott, which owns about 9 percent of the company, invest more for a larger ownership stake alongside Veritas, said the people, who asked not to be identified as the details aren’t public.

    The price being discussed couldn’t immediately be learned. Negotiations are ongoing and a final deal hasn’t been reached, the people said.

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    Athenahealth shares rose more than 3 percent to close at $127.54.

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    Representatives for Athenahealth, based in Watertown, Mass., declined to comment, as did Elliott and Veritas.

    Elliott began agitating for changes at Athenahealth in 2017. The New York-based hedge fund, run by billionaire Paul Singer, made an unsolicited proposal to acquire the company for $160 a share in May, subject to due diligence.

    After Athenahealth then opened its books to would-be buyers, other offers came in lower, prompting advisers to reach out to gauge suitors’ interest in reentering the process at a lower price, the people said.

    Private equity firms including Thoma Bravo, Bain Capital, Hellman & Friedman, Clayton, Dubiliar & Rice, and TPG were among those that had considered bids, the people said.

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    In June, Athenahealth chief executive Jonathan Bush stepped down following allegations of misconduct.

    At the time, the company said it would also explore a sale or merger and would start looking for a CEO. Former General Electric Corp. CEO Jeffrey Immelt took on the role of executive chairman at Athenahealth when Bush, a cousin of former president George W. Bush, left.

    The company is scheduled to announce third-quarter earnings on Thursday.

    Veritas Capital, based in New York, invests in technology-focused companies including Cotiviti, which helps health-care firms use technology for regulatory compliance.

    In April it agreed to buy part of General Electric’s health-care IT business for $1.05 billion.