Even more big firms are piling into Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF), going against Bill Ackman’s short position. This time it’s Susquehanna International Group and Morgan Stanley, both of which disclosed stakes today, which they held as of Dec. 31.
Firms disclose Herbalife stakes
According to Morgan Stanley’s regulatory filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the firm holds more than 2.9 million shares of Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF), which amounts to a 2.9% stake in the controversial nutritional supplements company. In its SEC filing, Susquehanna disclosed a 6.7% stake in the company, which amounts to more than 6.8 million shares.
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Bill Ackman continues attacks on Herbalife
Meanwhile activist investor Bill Ackman shows no signs of backing down in his fight to discredit Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF). His latest target just yesterday was senior Herbalife distributor Leslie Stanford. He also emphasized that Herbalife’s marketing materials focus more on recruitment of new distributors rather than sales of the product.
In connection with his report on Stanford, Ackman again pointed the figure at lead generation—a practice which got fellow Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF) distributor Shawn Dahl in trouble in the past. Ackman profiled Dahl previously, and there could be even more distributor profiles to come.
Calls for Herbalife probe continue
Meanwhile, many have called for regulators to investigate Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF) as a possible pyramid scheme. Undoubtedly Ackman is hoping to spur an investigation by profiling some of the company’s top distributors. So far though, he has been largely unsuccessful. In Canada, it was reported that regulators did launch an investigation in to Herbalife, and that may have been linked with Ackman’s report, which focused on Dahl’s connection with lead generation schemes and his past convictions.
U.S. regulators aren’t biting though, and there haven’t been any signs that they might any time soon. Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF) has been riding high on its strong numbers, however.