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Hedge fund that profited from Whole Foods-Amazon deal discloses bet on Blue Apron

Barry Rosenstein, managing partner of Jana Partners. (REUTERS/Rick Wilking)

During the second quarter ended June 30, activist hedge fund Jana Partners snapped up 600,000 shares of meal kit delivery company Blue Apron (APRN), a position valued at $5.6 million at the time, according to a 13-F filing posted on Monday.

This is interesting because Jana is also the fund that had been pushing Whole Foods Market (WFM) to sell itself, which it eventually did to Amazon (AMZN) on June 16. Jana made a massive profit of about $260 million on the deal. But that deal also took momentum out of the fanfare building up to Blue Apron’s June 29 IPO.

Furthermore, Amazon dealt a blow to Blue Apron investor later in July when it announced plans to launch its own meal-kit delivery service.

In the less than two months since Blue Apron has been public, the stock has gotten annihilated. It has fallen from $11 to as low as $5. Today, it trades at around $5.34 per share.

It’s worth noting that Blue Apron is a very small position for Jana.

Shares of Blue Apron have collapsed since the meal-kit delivery service company went public.

In early April, Jana, which is led by Barry Rosenstein, disclosed a nearly 9% stake in Whole Foods. The company didn’t exactly welcome the activist with open arms. Whole Foods’ CEO, John Mackey, referred to them as “greedy bastards” in an interview with TexasMonthly.

“We need to get better, and we’re doing that. But these guys just want to sell us, because they think they can make forty or fifty percent in a short period of time. They’re greedy bastards, and they’re putting a bunch of propaganda out there, trying to destroy my reputation and the reputation of Whole Foods, because it’s in their self-interest to do so,” Mackey told the publication in late April.

Jana sold all of its 26,074,830 shares of Whole Foods in late July.


Julia La Roche is a finance reporter at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter.