The debate surrounding Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF) is heating up yet again. This time the stock is soaring after it was revealed that billionaire investor George Soros initiated a large long position in the nutritional supplements company.
Soros is long in Herbalife
Shares of Herbalife rose as much as 10 percent after the news about Soros was reported. CNBC’s Scott Wapner reported that Soros has taken a top three position in the company. Soros is only the latest hedge fund titan to step into the ring in a big way regarding Herbalife (NYSE:HLF). Bill Ackman started it all when he announced in December that he had a $1 billion short position in the stock and called the company a pyramid scheme. Interestingly enough, Soros and Ackman work in the same building, according to Business Insider’s Julia La Roche.
Carl Icahn went long on the stock after Ackman brought the company into the spotlight. Dan Loeb also raked in a profit on Herbalife thanks to Ackman’s attempts to bring the company down.
When will Ackman be squeezed out of Herbalife?
As more and more shares of Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF) are snapped up, the question now is when Ackman will face the big short squeeze. Icahn, who many consider to be Ackman’s arch nemesis, has predicted that Ackman will face “the mother of all short squeezes.”
CNBC reported that as of today, Ackman had not moved to cover even a single share of his short position. Things just don’t look good for Ackman, who has shorted about 20 million shares of Herbalife, according to MarketWatch. NASDAQ indicates that as of the middle of this month, there were only about 30.2 million shares of the stock being shorted, which means Ackman holds about two-thirds of the short interest in Herbalife.
If and when he has to move to cover that position, it’s going to hurt tremendously, especially as the float decreases.