WATERTOWN, Mass. — Athenahealth Inc., a leading provider of cloud-based enterprise software solutions for medical groups and health systems nationwide, has entered into a definitive agreement to be jointly acquired by affiliates of private equity firms Bain Capital and Hellman & Friedman for $17 billion.

According to a press release dated Nov. 22, athenahealth Chairman and CEO Bob Segert will continue to lead the company, along with its current management team, following the acquisition from Veritas Capital and Evergreen Coast Capital. Veritas and Evergreen acquired athenahealth for $5.7 billion in February 2019.

“Today marks a significant milestone for athenahealth … and we are thrilled to work with Hellman & Friedman and Bain Capital to drive the next phase of our growth journey,” Segert said in the announcement.

Segert was CEO of Virence Health, the former GE Healthcare value-based care assets purchased by Veritas in 2018. With its purchase of athenahealth the following year, Veritas merged Virence and athenahealth, and tapped Segert to helm the new combined company. Both Veritas and Evergreen will continue to hold minority shares of the new company, in addition to the principal buyers and other investors.

An athenahealth spokesperson called the announcement an “exciting development” for the company, one of Belfast’s largest employers, saying, “… we look forward to continuing to grow in the community.” She noted that in Belfast alone, there are more than 80 open positions in the company “across a variety of job functions including operations, analytics and reporting, medical coding, account management, product support, call center work, and G&A functions.”

Athenahealth currently partners with more than 140,000 ambulatory care providers, throughout all 50 states and across more than 120 specialties, according to the press release. The company’s athenaOne cloud platform addresses critical aspects of a physician’s practice with modules spanning patient engagement, revenue cycle, telehealth, payments, population health, and value-based care management.

Allen Thorpe, partner at Hellman & Friedman, said in the release, “Given our deep experience in software and health care, we are excited to work with Bob and the executive team to rapidly scale the business and continue to innovate … to build the foundations of a multi-sided digital care network (among) patient, payer and provider.”

Hellman & Friedman partner Sameer Narang added, “Athenahealth’s technology leadership has differentiated the company as a next generation cloud-based SaaS technology platform, facilitating innovation in a rapidly evolving and dynamic market.”

Devin O’Reilly, a managing director at Bain Capital Private Equity, said in the announcement, “Athenahealth is at the frontier of digital health in the United States, enhancing the clinical quality, operational efficiency and delivery of preventive care to nearly 20% of the population today.”

“Over the course of our successful partnership with Bob and the management team, athenahealth has driven tremendous growth and transformation, reinforcing its position as the premier healthcare IT company supporting the largest nationwide network of healthcare providers,” said Ramzi Musallam, CEO and managing partner of Veritas Capital.

“Following our take-private and combination with Virence in 2019, athenahealth delivered unrivaled value to its customers by significantly increasing R&D investment, resulting in higher quality care, lower costs across the health care ecosystem, and overall improved patient outcomes,” he said. “We are thrilled to continue to support the company alongside Evergreen, Hellman & Friedman and Bain Capital in the years ahead.”

Speaking on behalf of Evergreen Coast Capital, Jesse Cohn, managing partner, and Marc Steinberg, senior portfolio manager, said in the announcement, “Athenahealth demonstrates what can happen when a team of dedicated and talented employees and executives is given the right resources to invest in innovation and to help improve the quality of care that its providers are able to deliver.”

In addition to Hellman & Friedman, Bain Capital Private Equity, and Bain Capital Tech Opportunities, the investor group includes Veritas Capital and Evergreen Coast Capital, which will each retain a minority investment in athenahealth, as well as other new co-investors, including an affiliate of GIC and a wholly owned subsidiary of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority.

The investment is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2022 and is subject to regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions.

Evercore and Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC are serving as lead financial advisers, and Milbank LLP as legal adviser, to athenahealth and Veritas Capital. Deutsche Bank Securities Inc., Barclays, Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC., BMO Capital Markets, BofA Securities Inc., and J.P. Morgan Securities LLC are serving as financial advisers, and Kirkland & Ellis LLP as legal adviser, to Hellman & Friedman and Bain Capital.