Ackman To Say Herbalife’s China Business Is A Pyramid Scheme

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This should come as no surprise. Bill Ackman just can’t let this whole Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF) thing go. In fact, he’s planning to say that the company’s Chinese operations are a pyramid scheme, according to the New York Post‘s Michelle Celarier. Apparently he decided to get a little more specific with his argument about the company, and maybe he thinks he’s got a better shot at convincing investors about Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF)’s operations in China. After all, the company has made a big deal about how important the country is to it.

Herbalife claim follows Nu Skin claim

Ackman may be hoping to see what happened to shares of Nu Skin Enterprises, Inc. (NYSE:NUS) over the last few days also happen to Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF). The Chinese newspaper the People’s Daily accused Nu Skin of running a pyramid scheme in China, and officials decided to investigate as a result.

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Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF) shares were affected by this news to a lesser extent, but Nu Skin pretty much got killed for it, falling from more than $130 a share down below $80 a share in less than three trading days.

Ackman prepares new Herbalife presentation

Now according to the New York Post, activist investor Bill Ackman is preparing a presentation to be given in February. He said he will present evidence that Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF) is operating illegally in China. If it’s anything like the original presentation about Herbalife, which he gave in December 2012, it’s likely to be quite lengthy, to put it mildly.

At that time of that first presentation, he announced a $1 billion short of Herbalife, although he has reportedly moved to cover part of his presentation since then as Herbalife shares have risen on a series of solid earnings reports. The higher shares of Herbalife have climbed, the more money Ackman’s Pershing Square Management fund has lost on its short position.

Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF) continues to deny that Ackman’s allegations are true, and there are plenty of analysts which side with Ackman. Citron Research, the firm which accused Nu Skin of running a pyramid scheme in China months ago, tweeted on Thursday that it doesn’t believe Herbalife is doing the same.