Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF) says it is considering adding more of activist investor Carl Icahn’s nominees to its board. As a result, the company has pushed back the date of its annual meeting from April 24 to April 29.
Herbalife talks with Carl Icahn
The nutritional supplements company said it is discussing with Icahn the possibility of adding more of his nominees to its board of directors. Although we don’t know for sure, Icahn may be wanting more control over Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF)’s board of directors as the company faces an investigation by the Federal Trade Commission. The agency announced this week that has launched the probe, and Icahn himself has so far declined to comment to media outlets on the topic.
Currently Icahn holds 17% of Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF). Two of his nominees joined the company’s board last year. The board now contains 13 members.
FTC reveals Herbalife investigation
Many consumer advocates and lawmakers have been pushing for U.S. regulators to investigate Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF) as a possible pyramid scheme. Activist investor Bill Ackman essentially started the debate more than a year ago when he announced his major short position in the company and said he was confident it is a pyramid scheme and that shares would fall to zero. Carl Icahn and Bill Ackman have been rivals for years, so when Ackman announced he was shorting Herbalife, Icahn decided to wade into the debate by going long.
Since then, he has been using various tactics to try to prove to regulators that Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF) is a pyramid scheme. Since the FTC announced its investigation, Ackman’s restructured short position, which now includes options, has most likely begun to earn back some of the money he lost on his short bet. Shares fell more than 5% on Thursday after plummeting on Wednesday in the wake of the announcement about the FTC probe. At this point, Ackman has also declined to comment on the investigation.