Jana Partners Takes Stake In Twitter; May Push For Change

Twitter shares were gaining in trading Monday (Nov. 14) after Jana Partners disclosed in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing it has acquired a stake in the social media company.

According to a report by Fortune, Jana Partners acquired 2.9 million shares, which, while a small position, could be a signal that change is coming to Twitter. Jana Partners is an activist investment firm, which means it invests in companies that are rife for change, whether it’s a merger, sale or increased investments. The move on the part of Jana, reported Fortune, could mean it will call for either an overhaul of the company or a sale.

It wouldn’t be the first time speculation has swirled around Twitter being a buyout target. With user growth that has stalled and management exits, Twitter is looking less attractive from a standalone basis. The report noted that Google, Disney and Apple have all been named as suitors for Twitter, but nothing has materialized as of yet. In October, Salesforce.com emerged as a serious suitor for Twitter, but nothing came of that speculation either. In the absence of pushing for a sale, Jana could push for a leadership change at Twitter.

At the end of September, shares of Twitter shot up on buyout speculation, with Reuters reporting back then that Twitter had “initiated talks” with a number of technology firms.