Jana Partners has just concluded its first proxy fight (which it lost) which was with Canadian company Agrium (AGU). In the 49 prior situations where Jana took an activist position they were able to reach an agreement with the board of directors in place.
Not this time. And Rosenstein believes the Agrium board of directors played dirty.
He believes that the Agrium board of directors was more interested in who gets credit for ideas rather than what the best ideas actually are. The Agrium Board took a win at all cost approach and certainly took actions that were questionable at best.
Rosenstein did not want to take such an aggressive approach to Agrium, but the board of directors forced his hand.
Jana Partners newest position is in Ashland (ASH) where he expects management to be much more constructive and will do the right thing. Rosenstein believes the right thing being to split the businesses inside of Ashland so that they can attract more appropriate valuation multiples.