An activist hedge fund that took aim at Whole Foods Market (WFM) is poised to make a huge windfall after e-commerce giant Amazon (AMZN) announced it’s buying the organic grocery store chain for $13.7 billion.
On Friday, Amazon said that it’s acquiring Whole Foods for $42 per share, about 27% more than the $33.06 price that the stock closed at on Thursday.
In early April, JANA Partners, an activist hedge fund led by Barry Rosenstein, disclosed a nearly 9% stake in Whole Foods. One of the hedge fund’s suggestions was that the grocery store could put itself up for sale.
The hedge fund held 26,074,830 shares as of May 27, 2017. Bloomberg estimates that the fund’s cost basis was about $32.11 per share.
By our estimates, the hedge fund should make about $260 million on its Whole Foods position.
Whole Foods didn’t exactly welcome the activist with open arms. The company’s CEO, John Mackey, referred to them as “greedy bastards” in a recent 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 didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
Julia La Roche is a finance reporter at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter.