Activist investor Bill Ackman just can’t give up his believe that Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF) isn’t worth the price it’s trading at. Last week it was revealed that billionaire investor George Soros initiated a large long position in the profitable but embattled company. Now Ackman has filed an official complaint claiming that Soros conspired with others to trade the company’s shares based on insider knowledge.
Ackman files complaint with regulators over Herblaife trade
The New York Post’s Michelle Celarier reported today that Bill Ackman filed the complaint against the family fund run by George Soros and some co-conspirators that have not been identified. The complaint claims that Soros tipped off hedge funds that it was going to buy shares of Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF) before it did.
Ackman claims that Soros Fund Management was trying to leverage George Soros’ reputation to push for a short squeeze. Of course Ackman dragged Herbalife into the spotlight late last year when he initiated a very large short position and announced it to the world. Ackman told regulators that Soros was trying to squeeze out his Pershing Square Management’s short position.
Ackman names Paul Sohn in the complaint
According to the allegation, Soros portfolio manager Paul Sohn attended meetings with managers of other hedge funds over the last month. He allegedly told those funds that Soros was purchasing Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF) shares that would amount to a stake of almost 5 percent. The purchase would also make Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF) the third largest position at the Soros fund.
Shares of the nutritional supplements company surged 9 percent after Soros’ stake was disclosed. Today the stock was still rising, gaining as much as 2 percent by early afternoon.
The group of investors Sohn was said to have met with ahead of the announcement about the Herbalife stake allegedly started buying shares in July. The group was said to have replaced investors who were no longer willing to lend Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF) shares to short sellers. Throughout the month of July, the company’s shares gained 33 percent.