Whole Foods Shares Surge 9% After WSJ Report That Jana Has Built Stake, Is Urging Changes

By Ciara Linnane Markets MarketWatch Pulse

Activist investor Jana Partners LLC has built a stake of almost 9% in Whole Foods Market Inc. and is pressuring the organic grocer to accelerate turnaround efforts and even explore a sale, The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday, citing people familiar with the matter. Jana is asking the company to upgrade technology and operations to better compete, the paper reported. It is also pushing for a board shake-up and urging the company to find out what a bidder might be willing to pay. Whole Foods declined to comment. Shares surged 9%, putting them on track for the best one-day gain in about two and a half years.

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