Jana Partners is getting the kind of help in its fight with PetSmart Inc. that is the stuff of fantasy for an activist hedge fund.
The firm said yesterday that it had received an anonymous package including damaging internal information about the company, which Jana would like to see sold. Included in the cache was a presentation in which PetSmart lays out its plans to improve results over the next two quarters, apparently to prepare to defend against a Jana-led proxy battle.
Jana said in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing that it had returned the documents to PetSmart. The hedge fund, which owns a 9.9% stake in the company, urged it to “promptly release such materials after redacting any such competitively sensitive information.”
Jana said that PetSmart had “missed internal projections” and pointed to recent exhortations to PetSmart employees “to enhance upcoming quarterly results.” The move leaves “the disturbing impression that the board knows where such a review would lead and is seeking to avoid the obvious outcome.”
The hedge fund went on to accuse PetSmart’s board and management of putting “self-preservation over shareholder value creation.”
Jana said it “does not have any knowledge regarding who may have sent this material,” and that it “has not independently verified the authenticity” of the documents.