Jana Partners is expected to receive about $320 million from its Whole Foods Market Inc.'s (WFM) investment after the organic grocer closes its $13.7 billion sale announced Friday to Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) .
The sale marked a major victory for Jana Partners, which in April launched a campaign to have the organic grocer consider selling itself. The fund was a key driver for a deal that will likely transform the grocery store industry. But also, it is expected to generate a windfall, net of fees, that Jana Partners' Barry Rosenstein will likely invest partly into another insurgency campaign in the coming months.
"I would certainly expect to see Jana deploy its profits into a new activist campaign," said Thomas Bell, a managing director at proxy solicitor Morrow Sodali. "They have been doing event-driven investing for since 2001, and this will provide them with a lot of dry powder to continue with that approach."
The activist investor accumulated its original 9% Whole Foods stake between Feb. 9 and April 10, at prices ranging from $29.14 a share to $31.80, significantly lower prices than the $42 a share Amazon acquisition price. The Deal estimates Jana Partners returns based on the 28 million shares it owned as of May 30. Jana Partners did not return calls.
At this stage, it is unclear what company Jana Partners and Rosenstein might target next. However, its existing investments can provide some clues.
For example, the fund owns a 0.3% stake in Acadia Pharmaceuticals (ACAD) , a drug company that also features a 0.6% investment by another major activist, Elliott Management's Paul Singer. The company has frequently been mentioned as a potential buyout target, but Jana or Elliott (or both) could both agitate for a deal if one doesn't happen soon.