Shares of Outerwall, the Bellevue company best known for its Coinstar coin counting machines and Redbox movie rental kiosks, jumped more than 17 percent after the New York investment firm Jana Partners disclosed that it had become the company’s largest shareholder with a 13.5 percent stake. Shares of Outerwall are trading Monday morning around $60.50, up more than five percent. That followed a 22 percent increase in the stock last week.
Outerwall is now valued at $1.7 billion.
Jana said that it would meet with Outerwall to discuss strategic opportunities, including a possible sale, discontinuation of products or layoffs. It’s also looking into the spin off of Outerwall products, including the Rubi coffee kiosks and Redbox Instant, which competes with online services from Netflix and Amazon.com. In a filing, the investment firm said that it believer the shares were “undervalued and represent an attractive investment opportunity.”
In a statement released Friday, Outerwall said that it “welcomes the opinions of its shareholders and is always open to constructive input toward the goal of enhancing shareholder value.”
“Our Board of Directors and management team regularly review the company’s strategic priorities and opportunities, including capital allocation, and assess a variety of strategic options,” the statement said. “We are committed to driving value for all Outerwall shareholders and will continue to take actions to achieve this important objective.”
Some have suggested that Amazon.com should buy Outerwall, giving the Seattle online retail a bigger footprint in kiosk-based retail. In July, Outerwall agreed to pay $350 million for ecoATM, a kiosk retailing system for tablets, smartphones and other electronics.