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Activist Takes Stake in Safeway: Report

PLEASANTON, Calif. — Stock in Safeway increased 4.9% Thursday after reports that a Canadian investor with a reputation for activism had taken an undisclosed stake in the retailer.

West Face Capital, a Toronto-based firm headed by activist investor Greg Boland, revealed the investment in a letter to clients obtained by the Globe and Mail newspaper. Boland is known for shaking up companies that have underperformed, often through withering public critiques and proxy fights, reports said.

Safeway has been a topic of interest among investors who believe the company could realize value by selling its stores in Canada. It was not clear whether West Face shared that sentiment, and Boland reportedly declined to comment to the Globe and Mail.

Safeway stock closed Thursday at $20.34, its highest price since May. The stock has declined by 4.6% over the past 12 months, Reuters said.

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