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Jana Partners Scales Back Stake in Whole Foods; Introduces New Board Nominee

Jana Partners Scales Back Stake in Whole Foods; Introduces New Board Nominee

AUSTIN, TX - New news has emerged in the Whole Foods-Jana Partners saga, as the activist investor continues to keep analysts on their toes. In addition to scaling back its percentage of stake in the company, Jana Partners has also introduced Kellogg veteran Celeste Clark as its latest board nominee.

Jana Partners has introduced Celeste Clark as the latest Whole Foods board nominee.

In a new filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Whole Foods has revealed that Jana Partners has scaled back its stake in the company to 8.2 percent. When we last reported on its grab for Whole Foods, its investment was approximately at 8.8 percent. At the time, Jana Partners made clear that its intent by grabbing this stake was to help Whole Foods better compete with its rivals, shift its board, and as WSJ phrased it, “find out how much a potential bidder might be willing to pay.”

Celeste Clark, Board Member Nominee, Whole FoodsAs for the addition of Celeste Clark as Jana Partner’s newest board nominee, the move comes as a natural progression for the activist investor group. Clark is the former Chief Sustainability Officer for food industry giant Kellogg Co., according to Reuters. The SEC filing lists Clark’s expertise as relating to nutrition, health policy, regulatory matters, and leadership. Clark currently serves on the boards of Mead Johnson Nutrition Company and AdvancePierre Foods.

Will these moves translate to more control for Jana Partners, and possibly even a move towards acquisition? Time will tell, and so will ANUK.

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