Blue Apron, the embattled US meal-kit supplier, has seen activist investor Jana Partners appear on its share roster.
Jana Partners, which has taken stakes in companies including Whole Foods Market and the former ConAgra Foods to improve their performance, held 2% of Blue Apron as of 30 June, the hedge fund disclosed yesterday (14 August). It is unclear whether Jana Partners still holds the shares.
Blue Apron floated in June but has seen its shares tumble since listing. Last week, Blue Apron’s shares took a dive after publishing its first earnings report as a publicly-listed company. The company revealed its operating costs had jumped by a third year-on-year.
The firm’s IPO price was US$10. As of 08:45 ET in pre-market trading this morning, Blue Apron’s shares stood at $5.36.
Packaged food manufacturers are eyeing the US meal-kit market with interest. US meat processor Smithfield Foods confirmed yesterday it had acquired a stake in another supplier, Chef’d, which has also attracted the backing of The Campbell Soup Company.
In June, Nestle acquired a minority stake in US online meal-kit service Freshly. Unilever, meanwhile, in May led a $9m investment in US meal-kit start-up Sun Basket.