The Morning Brief: JANA Gets Another Boost from Whole Foods Report

April 25, 2017   Stephen Taub


Shares of the trendy grocer rose on reports that grocery chain Albertsons may be interested in acquiring it, resulting in a windfall for the hedge fund firm.

Shares of Whole Foods jumped more than 2 percent, to $36.46, on reports that grocery giant Albertsons, controlled by private equity firm Cerberus, may be interested in acquiring the gourmet foods-oriented supermarket chain known for its high prices. There is no deal so far. However, the report comes about two weeks after activist hedge fund firm JANA Partners disclosed it is part of a group that owns nearly 9 percent of the shares of Whole Foods. The stock had actually traded as high as $37.33 on Monday. It has climbed more than 17 percent since JANA disclosed its position on April 10.

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Tiger Global Management participated in the $85 million Series D financing of Quora, a question-and-answer website. With the funding, the company is now worth about $1.8 billion, according to venturebeat.com. The company has gotten buzz in part because it was co-founded in 2009 by Adam D’Angelo, who was Facebook’s chief technology officer and also attended the prep school Phillips Exeter Academy with Mark Zuckerberg. Tiger Global previously led an $80 million fundraising for the company three years ago. This is the investment firm’s third venture capital investment made this year. It made only three investments in the second half of 2016.

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Highbridge Capital Management disclosed that as of April 13 it owned more than 5 million shares of ImmunoGen, or 5.34 percent of the biotechnology company, which is trying to develop drugs to treat cancer. Highbridge did not own any shares of the company at year-end. It has not yet filed required documents disclosing first-quarter U.S. stock positions.

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PointState Capital said it owns more than 1.45 million shares of Oncobiologics, or 5.3 percent of the biotechnology company. The hedge fund firm did not own any common shares of the company at year-end but held positions in two different issues of warrants in the stock.

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D.E. Shaw & Co. disclosed it owns 5.1 percent of Applied Optoelectronics, a maker of fiber optic networking products.

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The SS&C GlobeOp Forward Redemption Indicator stood at 2.41 percent in April. This is down from 3.48 percent in March. In a press release, Bill Stone, chairman and chief executive officer of SS&C Technologies, calls April’s measurement "a sharp improvement on a year-over-year basis" from 2.94 percent reported in April 2016. It also was the third straight monthly improvement in the Redemption Indicator compared to the same periods a year ago.


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