Pinnacle Foods - linked with activist investor Jana Partners.

Pinnacle Foods - linked with activist investor Jana Partners.

Activist investor Jana Partners has taken a 9.1% stake in US company Pinnacle Foods.

In an SEC filing, Jana Partners disclosed it had teamed up with former Unilever executive James Lawrence, Lululemon Athletica chairman Glenn Murphy, and Rodan & Fields CEO - and former Procter & Gamble executive - Diane Dietz to buy a combined 9.5% stake in the Udi's and Gardein owner.

Jana Partners said they would now seek talks with Pinnacle on a range of subjects including a possible sale of the business.

The filing said Jana Partners and its co-investors had invested in Pinnacle as they believe the company's "shares are undervalued and represent an attractive investment opportunity".

The fund said they would look to hold talks with Pinnacle's board on "value-creation measures" and set out three possible initiatives. The discussions would look to be on "operations, costs and margin execution; capital allocation and capitalisation; evaluating alternatives to realise [Pinnacle's] strategic value, including a sale or other consolidation opportunities potentially available to the [company] as a result of its scale position in the frozen foods sector."

Jana Partners has a track-record of taking positions in consumer-goods companies. In August, the fund bought a stake in embattled US meal-kit supplier Blue Apron. Last April, Jana Partners snapped up an 8% share of Whole Foods Market.

In 2015, Jana Partners acquired 7% of the then ConAgra Foods and said it would hold talks on "value creation".

Weeks later, ConAgra announced plans to sell its private-label business. Sean Connolly, who became ConAgra CEO earlier in 2015, said he had "intensely studied" the group's private-label business and concluded it was not worth investing the time and energy required to turn it around.