Lactose-Free Bries
If you have the sandwich, we have the sauce.
Jana Partners Grabs 9 Percent Share in Whole Foods

Jana Partners Grabs 9 Percent Share in Whole Foods

Tuesday, April 11th, 2017

Rumors of Whole Foods approaching a possible sale have stirred up yet again after activist investor Jana Partners LLC grabbed up a nearly 9 percent stake in the company. According to a report from The Wall Street Journal, Jana Partners has already begun pushing for a possible sale, as well as a potential shakeup of the retailer’s Board of Directors. 

According to a regulatory filing posted Monday, Jana Partners now has an 8.8 percent stake in Whole Foods, which the investor says it may leverage to help it better compete with its rivals, shift its board, and as WSJ puts it, find out how much a potential bidder might be willing to pay. The firm will also take another look at Whole Foods’ new small-store format, 365.

Whole Foods Stocks

Following the move, Whole Foods shares gained as much as 12 percent, reaching $34.66. According to Bloomberg, this is the biggest jump since November 2014. 

A Whole Foods spokeswoman shared with WSJ that the company “is open to the views and opinions of all of our shareholders,” adding, “we are committed to driving value for all Whole Foods Market shareholders and will continue to act to achieve this important objective.” 

In what the source says could be a signal that Jana is willing to get aggressive in its approach to shake up the retailer, Jana has already lined up potential new board nominees, all of which it named in the SEC filing. These candidates include industry analyst Meredith Adler, former Harris Teeter CEO Thomas Dickson, GAP turnaround orchestrater Glenn Murphy, entrepreneur Mark Bittman, and former CMO for Safeway Diane Dietz—who was part of Jana’s shakeup of Safeway in 2013.

Whole Foods Storefront

As we’ve previously explored on our sister website, AndNowUKnow, there has been much speculation over whether or not Whole Foods will sell in recent months, with many naming Kroger and Amazon as a possible buyers. Some analysts, however, think Whole Foods may end up employing the “poison pill” method—a mechanism used by public companies to prevent hostile takeovers.

After Monday’s increase in share value, Whole Foods’ market cap has now hit around $11 billion.

Whole Foods Market

Lactose-Free BriesIf you have the sandwich, we have the sauce.

Have a new product, press release or story idea?

Let us know

In This Story

Who are we? Well, we seek out the finest natural and organic foods available, maintain the strictest quality standards in the industry, and have an unshakeable commitment to sustainable agriculture...

What a Chicken Wants: Windows, Wing Space, Outdoor Living, and More

Perdue Farms goes beyond the status quo and leads the way to enhance animal welfare standards.
View Press Release

Quick Access to Organic Commodity Prices Made Possible by Mercaris Partnership with DTN

DTN’s ProphetX solution will offer organic commodities data with The Mercaris Report.
View Press Release

Vienna® Beef Celebration Marks 125 Years as Chicago’s Favorite Hot Dog

Iconic hot dog brand welcomes governor and community for a Chicago-Style party.
View Press Release

Moo've Over, Yogurt: Kansas State University Students Win First Place in Dairy Council's New Product Competition

A new creamy protein-rich dairy drink has Kansas State University success written all over it.
View Press Release

Inc. Magazine Unveils Its 37th Annual List of America’s Fastest-Growing Private Companies—the Inc. 5000

For the 8th Time, Hissho Appears on the Inc. 5000, Ranking No. 3893. With Three-Year Revenue Growth of 91.7 Percent
View Press Release

WCMA Adds Staff as Member Services Expand

The association has welcomed Sara Schmidt as its new Office and Member Service Coordinator, working to support WCMA’s expanded array of benefits to member organizations.
View Press Release

Now It's Official! Flow is a Business Doing Good

BeeInventive, the company behind the multiple award-winning “honey on tap” FlowHive, is now a Certified B CorporationⓇ.
View Press Release

Hissho Among 2018 Middle Market Leaders

Hissho has just been named #8 among the 2018 Middle Market Leaders honorees by Charlotte Business Journal.
View Press Release

Halton Group Acquires U.S. Indoor Air Equipment Manufacturer

The acquisition makes the company a part of Halton's Foodservice business that specializes in professional kitchen environments.
View Press Release