Jana Partners Took Stake in DirecTV, Exited Google Last Quarter

Jana Partners LLC, run by Barry Rosenstein, bought a new stake in DirecTV, the largest U.S. satellite-TV provider, while selling its position in Google Inc., according to a regulatory filing today.

The hedge fund acquired 3.2 million shares of DirecTV valued at about $158 million as of March 31, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. That makes the El Segundo, California-based company Jana’s third-largest holding as of the first quarter behind oil refiner Marathon Petroleum Corp. and pipeline firm El Paso Corp., according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Jana, based in New York, sold its stake in Google, the world’s largest search-engine operator, valued at about $37 million as of Dec. 31. The value of its energy holdings decreased by 10 percent last quarter, including selling about

10.2 million shares of Findlay, Ohio-based Marathon, its largest position, Bloomberg data show. Marathon returned about 31 percent in the first three months of the year.

The value of its investments in consumer-staples companies rose by about 6.6 percent during the quarter. Jana took a new position in Atlanta-based Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc., which manufactures and distributes sodas. The fund’s stake of about

2.6 million shares, valued at about $73 million at the end of March, accounted for about 3 percent of its portfolio.

Jana also increased its position in St. Louis-based battery manufacturer Energizer Holdings Inc., making it the fund’s fifth largest holding at about 5.5 percent of the portfolio.

Jana is an event-driven fund, meaning it generally invests in companies undergoing changes such as mergers, spinoffs and bankruptcies. The firm oversees about $3 billion in investments and commitments. Charles Penner, a Jana spokesman, declined to comment on today’s filing.

Barnes & Noble

The hedge fund said it owned 6.96 million shares in Barnes & Noble Inc. as of April 11, according to a previous filing. Jana said it sold 1 million shares of the bookstore chain as of April 30. That day Barnes & Noble surged 52 percent after Microsoft Corp. said it will invest $300 million in a new unit with the bookseller.

Jana also has taken an activist role in publisher McGraw-Hill Cos., proposing a plan last August to break up the company. McGraw-Hill said Sept. 12 that it will break in two by the end of this year, with one company focused on financial information and the other on educational publishing.

Money managers who oversee more than $100 million in U.S. equities must file a Form 13F within 45 days of the end of each quarter to list their holdings in stocks that trade on U.S. exchanges, as well as options and convertible debt.

Hedge funds are lightly regulated pools of capital whose managers can invest in any asset, and share in annual profits.

Elizabeth Ody in New York eody@bloomberg.net

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