Herbalife: Bill Ackman Prepares Another Attack

Herbalife: Bill Ackman Prepares Another Attack
Bill Ackman Photo via InsiderMonkey, Flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Well this is one story that won’t go away. Pershing Square manager Bill Ackman is reportedly preparing yet another attack on Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF). That’s according to CNBC “Fast Money Halftime Report” host Scott Wapner.

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Herbalife: Bill Ackman Prepares Another Attack

Source says Ackman gearing up against Herbalife again

According to CNBC’s source, Ackman is putting together another big presentation about Herbalife. That presentation is expected to be given in November at the Robin Hood Investment Conference. Right now you’re probably having flashbacks of that VERY lengthy presentation the hedge fund manager gave last year at an Ira Sohn Conference. He announced a $1 billion short position in the company and called it “a pyramid scheme.”

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Herbalife shares rising

Shares have been rising in spite of all of his efforts to derail the nutritional supplements company. Ackman has lost millions on his short bet, but he restructured it recently in an attempt of avoiding a short squeeze.

Since Ackman publicly denounced Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF), other hedge fund managers have been getting in on the action, taking one side or another. Carl Icahn went against Ackman, taking a long position. Several other managers sided with one of the two hedge fund titans, forming their own views about whether or not Herbalife is a pyramid scheme.

Ackman said recently he was making progress in his push for an investigation of Herbalife as a pyramid scheme. His presentation is said to be focused on new information his firm uncovered after conversations with a number of Herbalife’s former employees.

Allegations against Herbalife

Ackman has been attacking Herbalife in a variety of ways. In addition to alleging that it’s a pyramid scheme, he also called the company’s accounting practices into question. In August, he wrote to the company’s new auditor PricewaterhouseCoopers and explained what he viewed as some major accounting problems. However, Herbalife said it “stands by” its financial statements, which the company was forced to have re-audited because of allegations surrounding its previous auditor.

Meanwhile Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF) keeps foiling Ackman’s attempts to take it down, posting strong earnings and appointing a few high profile board members. Ackman’s new presentation on the company clearly suggests he thinks there is yet more room to complain.

Ackman isn’t the only one worried about Herbalife’s business model. A number of lawmakers and activists have also come out against Herbalife, urging regulators to investigate it as a possible pyramid scheme.

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Michelle Jones is editor-in-chief for ValueWalk.com and has been with the site since 2012. Previously, she was a television news producer for eight years. She produced the morning news programs for the NBC affiliates in Evansville, Indiana and Huntsville, Alabama and spent a short time at the CBS affiliate in Huntsville. She has experience as a writer and public relations expert for a wide variety of businesses. Email her at Mjones@valuewalk.com.
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