A California investment company revealed Wednesday it has acquired a 25% ownership stake in The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co., gobbling up shares on the open market, according to a report by Supermarket News.
Aletheia Research & Management, Santa Monica, Calif., in a disclosure statement with the Securities & Exchange Commission, reported it had acquired 147 million shares of A&P in a series of purchases between Oct. 15 and Dec. 15, representing an investment of more than $136.5 million.
Aletheia in the filing said it had no current plans for changes in A&P's business practices or its board of directors but said it reserves the right to make changes in the future. It was unclear who was selling the stock, although it had been reported this fall that Tengelmann Group, A&P's longtime controlling shareholder, had been considering selling its investment.
Another California investor, Ron Burkle's Yucaipa Cos. earlier this year invested $115 million in A&P, giving it a 27% ownership stake, which at the time reduced Tengelmann's stake from more than 50% to 38.6%.
Aletheia also this week revealed it had bought a 10.8% stake in bookseller Barnes & Noble, another company in which Yucaipa has invested this year.