Irwin Simon, Hain Celestial CEO, discusses how the nation’s current health craze has lifted his stock and Carl Icahn’s selling his remaining stake in the company.
its 52 week high. we have the founder, president, and ceo and no longer a partner of carl icon’s. carl got out of the stockrecently. he just got out in the last two weeks. what was that like? was that the happiest day of your life? you know what, carl bought the stock three years ago. i’ll never gore get i got thecall. this is carl icahn. i just filed a 13 d. he bought the stock at a 20, low 20s. and, you know, carl was an investor for three years. some day when i write my book and i get your help there will be a few, you know, paragraphs on carl and our relationship. he made $400 million. he made more, $430 million. you know, i learned a lot with carl. how often would he call you, badger you, scream at you? tell us just — you know, ifyou’re a ceo watching this program who’s about to get a call from carl icahn, what do you do? in my next life that’s what i’m coming back as. as a consultant? as a consultant. listen, my first thing is this here. carl icahn bought 7 million shares, spent over $100 million. carl icahn should not be treated any differently than any shareholder. my whole thing was how do we perform? i had every banker call me, every lawyer. you know, you’ve got to fight with him, you have to put this in place, you can’t give him board seats. go run the company. how many companies go out there and fight with carl and spend tens and 20s and $30 million of shareholder money? where are they going to go? at the end of the day carl is like the u.s. government, he’s got time and money on his side. he’s been a great investor. i will call him a friend even though carl will say if you want a friend, get a dog. he may say that. listen, the stock has performed. i’m he very happy. he’s made well over $400 million and we move on. is him getting out of the stock a sign that the major gains and the rn has ended? becky, i have been asked that question. i came back from europe all week. hain today is positioned better than when carl got in. you’re talking about health care costs and obama care. we’re seeing oboes city rates decline because of the awareness of healthy eating.70% of health care costs come from self-infliction of foods,okay? so people are being educated. consumers are being educated about food. i spent the last week at mount sinai hospital going through chemicals, pesticides, the whole debate with genetically modified ingredients. where did all of these learning issues come from in kids today? where is autism?where do all of these diseases come from? there’s 80,000 chemicals today that are in products or in packaging that we didn’t even know about. bpa when we were growing up, i know i grew up before you, but did we know what bpa was, which was a sealer in a can where liquid touched it? genetically modifiedingredients. u.s. and canada are the only other countries other than third world countries that allow genetically modifiedingredients. pesticides. as a parent i’m worried about that.shouldn’t be a direct link to autism to all of this. there’s so much research. did we hear about autism before? the awareness levels. pesticides. the awareness. let me ask you a question and it relates to calories and the idea of obesity and food. you do a lot of healthy products. when did you buy this. this is blueprint. i was going to say though that a lot of people are drinking juices. we’re all drinking the juice. all drinking the juice. as long as we’re not doing the juice. the juice is not like, you know, fat free, calorie free situation. a lot of this stuff and a lot of people drink a lot of this stuff. andrew, calories are not bad for you. it’s all in moderation. it’s the good fats and bad fats. high fructose corn sweetener? what was that? it was sugar that turned into the bad fats. hydrogenated oils turned into the bad fats into your heart. so, you know, there’s a lot of — there’s 300 calories in that, that is a meal. right. if you eat a steak, i’ll challenge you. eat this or have a steak, you’ll feel a lot better. talk about mothers and their sensitivity towards health,nutrition. you have 10 million mothers online a month and you build a huge product orientation and a huge number of skus geared towards mothers. talk about it. miles i heard as i was coming in here talking about social media and what’s drivingadvertising today. you know, hain being a 20-year-old company, you look at our consumer. it’s an educated consumer, beckywho whose children, so does andrew, twins. so does joe. so does joe, we’re feeding their children baby food and what — so we today have a business called earth’s best baby food. we feed infants and toddlers their first food. we feed them formula.you think when you have an educated mom like becky andandrew coming on our website and talking to us through socialmedia today. we have 9 million moms and dads a month that will visit our site and are educated about food. listen, we talk about it. you’re going to be able to walk into a store with your iphone, scan the product, know every bad ingredient or good ingredient here. my kid is allergic to nuts. you’ll scan that. it’s not hey nut free product, it’s not coming into my house. you’ll walk into a store and say i’m on a 2,000 calorie diet