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UPDATE 2-TreeHouse Foods explores sale option after pressure from investor

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  • THS

(Adds details from release, background, results)

Nov 8 (Reuters) - TreeHouse Foods Inc said on Monday it was exploring options including a sale of the company or divestment of a unit, months after hedge fund Jana Partners pushed for changes saying the packaged food maker was undervalued.

Jana Partners has a history of pushing for change in the food and beverage industry. It has previously urged for changes at Whole Foods that was later sold to Amazon and at Pinnacle Foods, which Conagra Brands acquired.

The activist investor has appointed two independent directors to the board of TreeHouse, which has been under a strategic review. As of Aug. 27, Jana owned about 9% of the company, according to Refinitiv data.

Private-label food group TreeHouse had a market capitalization of $2.0 billion as of Nov. 5, down from about $2.86 billion when Jana first announced a stake in the company.

"The Board's decision to explore strategic alternatives follows careful consideration as well as engagement with many of our shareholders over the past year," said Ann Sardini, chair of company's board.

Separately, TreeHouse reported third-quarter revenue that beat market expectations, but forecast full-year adjusted profit below estimates. (Reporting by Deborah Sophia in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli)