The maker of Hunt’s ketchup and Marie Callender’s microwave dinners had an understanding with JANA Partners dating back to 2015 when it and the investor reached a deal for two new mutually agreed directors to join Conagra’s board.
It announced the agreement’s termination in a disclosure to the US Securities and Exchange Commission.
Jana Partners regularly takes positions on consumer-good companies with a view to pushing through strategic change and extracting value.
It was revealed in April Jana had taken a 9.5% stake in Conagra’s local peer Pinnacle Foods. It is said to favour a deal between the two food groups.
It was widely assumed the Jana-approved directors on the Conagra board could help facilitate such a transaction but, although Conagra held talks to acquire Pinnacle last year, it could not clinch a deal.
Conagra said its tie-up with Jana ended by mutual agreement.