Activist Investor Jana Partners Has an Almost 10% Stake in Freshpet (FRPT) – WSJ FRPT +15.88% Add to/Remove from Watchlist Add to Watchlist Add Position
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By Sam Boughedda
The Wall Street Journal reported late afternoon Thursday that activist investor firm Jana Partners has a nearly 10% stake in Freshpet (NASDAQ:FRPT).
According to the report, citing sources, Jana plans to encourage the pet-food business to make changes in order to boost its stock price and explore a sale.
The activist investment firm feels Freshpet could attract acquisition interest from larger competitors in its industry, while it will encourage the company to make operational adjustments and improve its capital allocation.
New York-based Jana, founded by Barry Rosenstein in 2001, has reportedly recruited several executives, such as former Kraft Foods (NASDAQ:KHC) Chief Financial Officer Timothy McLevish, to help with the campaign. In addition, former NBA star Dwayne Wade and baseball athlete CC Sabathia are on board as special advisers, according to The Wall Street Journal sources.
Following its struggles, Freshpet’s market value is said to have dropped to $2 billion from its peak of around $8 billion. Its shares are down over 70% this year, although they closed Thursday’s session up over 15% following the report.