Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF) has announced that LATINO Magazine is honoring it as a corporate role model. The press release states that the magazine has included the nutritional supplements company in its LATINO 100 Spring 2014 issue, which is an annual list which showcases companies that offer “the most viable business opportunities for U.S. Latinos.”
Herbalife honored—and accused—by Latino organizations
The honor is especially interesting if you remember all the pyramid scheme allegations raised against Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF), which is now being investigated by U.S. regulators. Activist investor Bill Ackman first levied the allegations against Herbalife and later accused it of targeting Latino and other minority communities, particularly those who are low income. At least one Latina organization also accused Herbalife of targeting minority communities, urging lawmakers to investigate the company’s business practices.
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In the press release, Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF) pointed to a 2013 survey of the U.S. population which indicated that 85% of the Latinos who participated rated the company as “Good,” Very Good,” or “Excellent.”
“We are incredibly honored by LATINO Magazine’s acknowledgment of Herbalife as one of the top corporate supporters of the growing U.S. Latino population,” said Ibi Fleming, senior vice president and managing director of Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF)’s North America region, in a statement. “Latinos across the country have historically embraced Herbalife’s nutrition products since the company’s founding in 1980. Their success is a tribute to the hard work of our members and a clear demand among Latinos for a healthy lifestyle. We are also proud to be acknowledged for our work in fostering and ensuring workplace diversity in our corporate culture.”
Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF) also said that its inclusion on the list showcases its “robust, loyal Latino membership,” which it states makes up more than half of its U.S. business.
Herbalife views polarized
While investors go back and forth on Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF), one thing is for certain: there isn’t much in-between on Herbalife. People seem to either love it or hate it. Short interest in the nutritional supplements company has grown as investors become increasingly concerned about the pyramid scheme allegations that regulators and the Illinois attorney general’s office are investigating.
On the other hand, former U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Richard Carmona is very excited about the company, and there are plenty of people who agree with him.