Herbalife Won’t Be Attending Ackman Movie Premier Tomorrow

Herbalife

One movie premier Los Angeles-based Herbalife CEO Michael Johnson will not be attending is Bill Ackman’s producer debut in the “documentary” about the nutrition company.

Documentary on Herbalife is really “advertisement”

Getting the jump on Ackman’s Friday premier of what Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF) is calling an “advertisement” designed to bring down a 34-year old company, Herbalife issued a statement deriding Ackman’s efforts.

“Ackman has spent more than $20 million to date on his campaign against Herbalife,” the statement said. “Herbalife views the release of this advertisement posing as a “documentary” as nothing more than propaganda. The company believes this is yet another tactic in Mr. Ackman’s calculated, coordinated and well-funded effort to destroy a 34-year old company and support his $1 billion bet against Herbalife.”

The release noted that Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF) had noted been contacted by Connie Chung, the film’s on-air talent, or Pershing Square prior to the hedge fund’s release of the film.  “Herbalife believes Mr. Ackman is not interested in the truth or any semblance of a fair and impartial hearing of the facts. As such, Herbalife has no intention of participating in Friday’s media event.”

The  release then proceeded to talk its cause, saying they have no minimum purchase requirements, a money back guarantee and studies that show its members are satisfied.

First every movie created for activist short bet

Ackman’s release of Friday’s documentary about Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF) will be historic, as it will be the first professionally produced movie used in an effort to support a hedge fund’s bet against a corporation.

As previously reported in ValueWalk, the movie will feature former distributors who say that the company defrauded them. The documentary will be Ackman’s latest evidence that the Cayman Islands-based company is a pyramid scheme. Pershing Square has planned an event in the New York City Friday to showcase the documentary. The hedge fund has invited members of the community, government, press and consumer organizations to attend the showing.  The documentary will be followed by a live panel discussion with former Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF) distributors featured in the film. The discussion will be moderated by Connie Chung, the former CBS News anchor. Chung said she would not accept payments for the work.  Pershing Square said it hasn’t compensated people in the documentary beyond expenses for people coming to New York.

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About the Author

Mark Melin
Mark Melin is an alternative investment practitioner whose specialty is recognizing a trading program’s strategy and mapping it to a market environment and performance driver. He provides analysis of managed futures investment performance and commentary regarding related managed futures market environment. A portfolio and industry consultant, he was an adjunct instructor in managed futures at Northwestern University / Chicago and has written or edited three books, including High Performance Managed Futures (Wiley 2010) and The Chicago Board of Trade’s Handbook of Futures and Options (McGraw-Hill 2008). Mark was director of the managed futures division at Alaron Trading until they were acquired by Peregrine Financial Group in 2009, where he was a registered associated person (National Futures Association NFA ID#: 0348336). Mark has also worked as a Commodity Trading Advisor himself, trading a short volatility options portfolio across the yield curve, and was an independent consultant to various broker dealers and futures exchanges, including OneChicago, the single stock futures exchange, and the Chicago Board of Trade. He is also Editor, Opalesque Futures Intelligence and Editor, Opalesque Futures Strategies. - Contact: Mmelin(at)valuewalk.com

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