Barry Rosenstein, Jana Partners, Slightly Trim Their Position in Safeway Inc. (SWY)

Barry Rosenstein‘s fund Jana Partners has slightly reduced its holding in Safeway Inc. (NYSE:SWY). A newly amended filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, revealed Jana owning around 10.1 million shares of the company, down from some 11.2 million held at the end of September. The stake held by the fund is activist by nature and amasses 4.1% of the company’s common stock. The value of the position amounts to almost $345 million, at the current share price of the company.

Barry Rosenstein JANA PARTNERS

The shares have been sold under Jana’s regular portfolio management activities, the filing stated. The fund also said that it is very supportive of Safeway Inc. (NYSE:SWY)’s latest moves, especially the decision to exit the Chicago market, intentions to review its business to focus on its main operations, and authorization of a large share repurchase plan, among others.

Earlier in October, Safeway Inc. (NYSE:SWY) has raised the repurchase of stock by $2.0 billion. By the end of September, the company had around $0.8 billion under the previous stock repurchase program.  Safeway Inc. (NYSE:SWY) has also completed the sale of its Canada Safeway ULC to Sobeys Inc, which is fully owned by Empire Company Limited. The proceeds from the sale amounted to around $3.7 billion, which will be partially used to reduce the company’s debt and to finance the stock repurchase program.

In September, Jana Partners reported significantly boosting its position in Safeway. The fund increased the holding to almost 15 million shares (including around 3.5 million shares in options).

Aside from Jana Partners, Citadel Investment Group, managed by Ken Griffin also disclosed a big position in Safeway Inc. (NYSE:SWY). The fund reported, in its latest 13F, holding over 9.1 million shares of the company, with a reported value of $292.7 million. Citadel’s holding has been increased by almost 150% during the third quarter.

Disclosure: none

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