Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF) has been a source of hurt for Bill Ackman almost since he announced his massive short of the company. However, he said today at the Harbor Investment Conference that they’re heading toward the breakeven point on that controversial short position.
Ackman makes progress on Herbalife position
Business Insider reports that although Ackman admitted that they hadn’t broken even on their short of Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF) just yet, they’re heading in that direction. When someone asked him what the breakeven price would be, he didn’t give an exact answer, which is interesting. He did say, however, that whenever Herbalife’s share price rose, CNBC would report that his Pershing Square fund had lost millions on it, but the network didn’t report as they made money “on the way down.” He also admitted that they had “certainly lost a lot of money” on Herbalife.
At the end of 2012, Ackman called Herbalife Ltd (NYSE:HLF) a pyramid and announced a $1 billion short position. In October 2013, he said he had repositioned his short by swapping over 40% of the short position for put options. He said this week that now he’s better positioned to make more money. He said he didn’t just change his potion from being short, but rather “now have a much larger position notionally than” they had at first. So in repositioning, Ackman basically pared back his exposure to the short, thus reducing the risk associated with his position.
Ackman calls Herbalife a “levered pyramid scheme”
Ackman continues to believe that Herbalife Ltd (NYSE:HLF) is a pyramid scheme. The company recently announced a share repurchase and debt offering, and Ackman shared his thoughts on that today at the conference. CNBC reports that he said Herbalife “is now a levered pyramid scheme” and that they “like that.”
He continues to believe that U.S. regulators will investigate Herbalife Ltd (NYSE:HLF) as a pyramid scheme, although as of now, they have yet to take an interest in the multi-level marketing company.