Carl Icahn and Bill Ackman can’t seem to pass up an opportunity to take jabs at each other. This time, it was Icahn poking fun of Bill Ackman in an interview with Scott Wapner on CNBC’s FastMoney Halftime Report.
Carl Icahn versus Bill Ackman
On CNBC’s Newsroom Twitter feed, it states that Carl Icahn said Bill Ackman called his office recently. According to Icahn, Ackman reportedly said, “Tell Carl I forgive him.” At that point, Icahn said he called Ackman back and said, “I forgive you.” The tweet is accompanied with the Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF) stock ticker symbol.
The two activist investors are long-time rivals. Their public rivalry over Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF) has been well-documented, as Icahn went long on the company after Ackman publicly declared his short of the company. Ackman continues to call Herbalife a pyramid scheme, although Icahn has defended the company.
Carl Icahn addresses activism
Also on CNBC today, Icahn again addressed the issue of activism in the investment community. Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger brought the topic back into Wall Street’s focus at Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE:BRK.A) (NYSE:BRK.B)’s annual shareholder meeting over the weekend. Munger said he thinks activism is bad for U.S. companies. Interestingly enough, both Ackman and Icahn think they’re exempt from Munger’s blanket statements regarding activist investing. Neither thinks their methods are harmful to U.S. companies.
Icahn said he thinks Buffett should have been more vocal regarding his opposing views on The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE:KO)’s compensation plans. Buffett said he addressed his concerns in private with the company’s CEO, but Icahn believes publicly criticizing companies is the only way to get them to change their policies. He also said that his representatives are not a “disturbance” on any of the boards they join. In addition, he said getting involved in corporate governance enables them to keep companies and their CEOs accountable for their actions.
Carl Icahn on Apple
Icahn also said he thinks Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) CEO Tim Cook is doing a good job. He has continued to express support of the CEO throughout his involvement with Apple and his push for a greater share buyback plan.