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Jack In The Box Up For Sale

|Includes: Jack in the Box Inc. (JACK)

Activist Jana Partners and Blue Harbour agitated for action.

Rumors of an active sale process and discussions with PE shops.

Stock up on the chatter of a potential sale at a premium.


Jack In the Box (NASDAQ:JACK) which has been the target of two activist investors (Jana Partners and Blue Harbour Group, both having filed 13Ds) is putting it self up for sale according to Reuters. The stock was up 6% yesterday on the sale rumors. A Baird analyst speculated that if JACK sells for the same multiple as Sonic fast food (sold to Arby's parent Inspire Brands a few months ago at 16x trailing EBITDA) it would result in a $115 share price, a nearly 30% premium to today's closing price of $88.54 per share. He goes on to say that this would be on the higher end of a potential sale price.

Both Jana and Blue Harbour stated in their 13D filings (filed in February and November 2018 respectively) that they thought JACK was an undervalued or a good investment. Further they also mentioned they would be having strategic discussions with JACK board and management on ways to unlock shareholder value. It will be interesting to see how much JACK eventually gets sold for.

Disclosure: I am/we are long JACK.