Herbalife Fight Heats Up Again As Stiritz Ups Stake


Herbalife Ltd (NYSE:HLF) continues to be the source of debate among investors, and Post Holdings Inc (NYSE:POST) Bill Stiritz has sided with Carl Icahn on the long side of the stock. Duane D. Stanford of Bloomberg reports that since Stiritz disclosed his stake in the nutritional supplements company earlier this month, shares have risen 22 percent.

Herbalife Fight Heats Up Again As Stiritz Ups Stake

Stiritz builds Herbalife investment

Herbalife was dragged into the spotlight by Bill Ackman late last year when he announced his $1 billion short position in the stock and called it a pyramid scheme. But Stiritz apparently didn’t pay much attention to the company until January when Ackman and Icahn faced off over the stock.

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At that point, Stiritz started doing his own research and decided to become a distributor for the company. It didn’t take long for him to become Herbalife Ltd (NYSE:HLF)’s fourth biggest shareholder. He now has a 5.2 percent stake in the nutritional supplement company.

Herbalife is a “national treasure”: Stiritz

The Post Holdings executive said he went long on the company after deciding that it is a “national treasure” and hearing that Ackman was bent on destroying the company. Even since disclosing his long position in Herbalife Ltd (NYSE:HLF), he has increased his stake and said this week that he intends to buy even more shares.

He also expressed distaste with the way Ackman has publicly pursued the company. He said he is concerned by the way Ackman has said Herbalife isn’t a “real business” and that it “ought to go away.”  The executive also said he trusts the company’s management and sees protein shakes, which are one of the main staples of Herbalife’s business, as an inexpensive way to battle obesity.

Herbalife investigated

Ackman has urged officials and even Herbalife’s new accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers to investigate the company’s methods. A number of organizations, including MANA, a Latina organization, have also urged the Federal Trade Commission to investigate Herbalife as a possible pyramid scheme.

Stiritz maintains that he has not invested in a pyramid scheme. “It’s my money versus his investors’ money. May the best analyst win,” he told Bloomberg.