Jana Partners is an activist hedge fund founded by Barry Rosenstein in 2001. The fund specializes in event-driven investing by applying a fundamental analysis to identify undervalued companies in the market. The firm also engages in activist investing that can potentially serve as an event-driven, fundamental investing catalyst. Jana Partners is based in New York. The had just over $1 billion in 13F equity holdings as of Sept. 30, 2020.
Rosenstein graduated from Lehigh University and received his master’s of business administration from Wharton. He started his career at Merrill Lynch.
Rosenstein worked with Asher Edelman, a prominent corporate raider during the 1980s. The character of Gordon Gekko in the film "Wall Street" was modeled, in part, on Edelman. Rosenstein left New York for San Francisco in the early 1990s. While in San Francisco, he had initial success with the funding of Copart, Inc., the largest auto salvage company in the world. Rosenstein then ran a private equity firm, Sagaponack Partners, but he found the private equity structure to be too limited.
Rosenstein began Jana Partners in 2001 with around $17 million in backing from Leon Cooperman, a prominent hedge fund manager. Rosenstein is now one of a group of elite activist investors that includes Carl Icahn, Daniel Loeb and Bill Ackman. Rosenstein’s investment management team at Jana Partners includes David DiDomenico, Scott Ostfeld, and Kevin Galligan.
Jana’s Activist Positions
Jana has taken a number of large positions in companies over the years. Rosenstein took a large position in McGraw-Hill and successfully pressured the company to break into two. Jana also convinced energy company El Paso to break up into two companies. Other significant investment positions have included Qualcomm, ConAgra Foods and Baxter. As of Sept. 30, 2020, Jana’s two largest equity positions now include Perspecta (PRSP) and Conagra Brands (CAG).
Perspecta was Jana’s second largest investment as of Sept. 30, 2020. Perspecta is a government services company in the U.S. Jana owned 12.8 million shares. This is roughly 8.6% of Persepcta's outstanding shares. Persepcta's stock price has been flat as of the year ended Jan. 10, 2021.
Conagra Brands was Jana's largest holding as Sept. 30, 2020. The hedge fund owned 10.9 million shares of the packaged food company, representing roughly 2.22% of the company's outstanding shares. Conagra shares are up almost 6% over the last year ending Jan. 10, 2021.