JANA Partners Trims URS Position, Nominates Board Members ~ market folly

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

JANA Partners Trims URS Position, Nominates Board Members

Barry Rosenstein's hedge fund firm JANA Partners has filed an amended 13D with the SEC regarding their position in URS (URS).  Per the filing, JANA now owns 9.4% of URS with over 6.74 million shares.

This marks a slight decrease in their stake as they sold 437,740 shares since their last disclosure.  The filing was made due to activity on March 13th but the fine print highlights that they were selling in early March at prices around $47.xx.

JANA and the company have entered into a cooperation agreement where the company will increase the size of its board to 14 and will recommend that shareholders vote to elect JANA's nominees.  URS' board will also establish a Value Creation Committee to evaluate all options for enhancing shareholder value.  This committee will engage an investment bank to conduct a strategic review, engage a cost consultant to review things, and review management's compensation structure.

Of the agreement, Rosenstein says,

“We have appreciated our constructive dialogue with Martin Koffel and his team. We share their view that the Company is significantly undervalued, particularly given its strong cash flows and the valuable work Martin and his team have done over many years to ensure that URS is well-positioned to meet the needs of its clients. I am confident that the addition of four highly-qualified directors and the formation of the Value Creation Committee will help unlock this value for all shareholders.”

We highlighted JANA's previous URS activity where they requested the company to delay the deadline to nominate board members.

You can view other recent portfolio activity from JANA Partners here.

Per Google Finance, URS is "a provider of engineering, construction and technical services. The Company offers a range of program management, planning, design, engineering, construction and construction management, operations and maintenance, and decommissioning and closure services to public agencies and private sector clients worldwide. It provides its services through four reporting segments: Infrastructure & Environment, Federal Services, Energy & Construction, and Oil & Gas Divisions. URS also is a United States federal government contractor in the areas of systems engineering and technical assistance, operations and maintenance, and information technology (IT) services. It provides services for federal, oil and gas, infrastructure, power, and industrial projects and programs."

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