Trimble to buy back $800 million worth of shares, expand board following Jana investment

Trimble to buy back 0 million worth of shares, expand board following Jana investment

The Trimble logo is displayed on a smartphone.

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Industrial technology company Trimble announced on Tuesday it would buy back up to $800 million worth of shares and add two directors to its board, just a few weeks after activist investor Jana Partners disclosed a stake in the company.

Ron Nersesian and Kara Sprague will join Trimble’s board effective February, the company said in a release. Sprague is an executive vice president at Nginx-owner F5. Nersesian is the chairman and former CEO of Keysight, an equipment and software company.

“We are thrilled to welcome Kara and Ron to our Board,” Trimble CEO Rob Painter said in the release.

Jana partner Kevin Galligan said the firm was “pleased” with the additions to the board and the expanded share buyback plan.

Jana Partners revealed its stake in Trimble at Bloomberg’s Activism Forum in December. Galligan said at the time that it would encourage Trimble to improve margins and focus on organic growth. Galligan also said that industrial concerns looking to grow their recurring revenue through software or technology might consider acquiring Trimble.

The activist investor has previously disclosed positions in Fidelity National Information Services, Macy’s, New Relic, Qualcomm and Zendesk, according to 13D Monitor. Jana says it relies on a network of industry experts to help identify targets, help shape strategies, and serve on target boards.

Shares rose as much as 1.5% on the news. Trimble stock is up more than 7% since Jana first disclosed its stake.

“We look forward to supporting Rob and the Company as they execute their strategy to compound value,” Galligan said.

Jana did not immediately return CNBC’s request for further comment.