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Jana Partners took new stake in CyrusOne during first quarter -source

Activist investment firm Jana Partners has taken a stake in CyrusOne Inc roughly two years after the real estate investment trust attracted takeover interest from rivals and less than a year after it named a new chief executive officer, a source familiar with the matter said on Monday.

By Svea Herbst-Bayliss

BOSTON, May 17 (Reuters) - Activist investment firm Jana Partners has taken a stake in CyrusOne Inc CONE.O roughly two years after the real estate investment trust attracted takeover interest from rivals and less than a year after it named a new chief executive officer, a source familiar with the matter said on Monday.

Jana made its investment in CyrusOne some time during the first quarter of 2021 and has not publicly discussed the stake or its potential plans for the company, which builds and then rents out data centers.

The New York-based hedge fund, founded by Barry Rosenstein, has a history of quietly pushing for change behind the scenes, and some of its portfolio companies, including Whole Foods Market, Pinnacle Foods and Perspecta Inc, were later sold.

A spokesman for Jana Partners did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Jana is expected to file its quarterly holdings data, in which the CyrusOne stake will likely be detailed, later on Monday. Although the so-called 13F filings are backward-looking, they are closely watched for clues about the campaigns that may be planned by activist investors like Jana Partners.

CyrusOne's stock is currently trading around $69.15 and has slipped 4.87% since January.

The price is below levels seen in 2019 when speculation mounted that the Dallas-based company was receiving takeover interest from a number of firms, including KKR and Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners.

Talk of a potential deal went cold when CyrusOne's then-CEO, Gary Wojtaszek, said on an earnings call in late 2019 that no sale was being considered. Wojtaszek resigned in early 2020 and was replaced by Bruce Duncan in June 2020. Duncan was 68 when he was hired and had more than 40 years' experience in real estate management, the company said.

(Reporting by Svea Herbst-Bayliss in Boston Editing by Matthew Lewis)

((svea.herbst@thomsonreuters.com; +617 856 4331; Reuters Messaging: svea.herbst.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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