Written by Sam Bogda
The Wall Street Journal reported late Thursday afternoon that activist investor Jana Partners owns approximately 10% of Freshpet (NASDAQ:) shares.
According to the report, citing sources, Jana plans to encourage the pet food segment to make changes in order to increase its share price and explore a sale.
The activist investment firm feels that Freshpet can attract acquisition interest from larger competitors in its industry, while encouraging the company to make operational adjustments and improve capital allocation.
The New York-based Jana, which was founded by Barry Rosenstein in 2001, has reportedly recruited several executives, such as former Kraft Foods (NASDAQ:) CFO Timothy McAlevich, to help with the campaign. In addition, former NBA star Dwyane Wade and baseball player CC Sabathia act as special advisors, according to Wall Street Journal sources.
After its struggle, Freshpet’s market value is said to have fallen to $2 billion from its peak of around $8 billion. Its shares are down more than 70% this year, although it closed Thursday’s session more than 15% higher after the report.