Herbalife Ltd. has issued an official response to the comments Bill Ackman made on CNBC’s Squawk Box this morning. At first, Ackman’s comments sent the nutritional supplements company’s stock into another nosedive, continuing Monday’s and Tuesday’s declines. However, the stock rallied in the afternoon and ended the trading day up by more than 4%.
Herbalife calls Ackman “predictable”
In a press release this afternoon, Herbalife called Ackman “entirely predictable,” pointing out that the activist investor’s put options on the company expire next week. The company said Ackman was “off on yet another tirade of misrepresentations, the sole purpose of which is to drive down our share price.”
The press release also stated that the facts about the company are “inconvenient” for the activist investor and said he doesn’t want to learn them. Herbalife added further that last month, his team cancelled a meeting that he had requested at the last minute.
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The sentiment in the press release was almost exactly the same as what Herbalife said last month when it again referenced Ackman’s put options. The company said in December that the Pershing Square Capital Management chief always “pulls some student to help out his put options.”
Ackman said he’s doing “God’s work”
This morning on CNBC, Ackman essentially compared Herbalife to convicted Ponzi scheme mastermind Bernie Madoff. He said it was becoming difficult for the multi-level marketing company to find customers because he was shining a light on its practices. In addition, the activist investor said he and his team are doing “God’s work” in attempting to expose Herbalife, which he claims is a pyramid scheme.
Of course Ackman isn’t the only one who was rejoicing in Herbalife’s recent decline. Whitney Tilson was also pleased with it, and he said there are 15 reasons the company should have already been stopped and perhaps shut down immediately or placed under an injunction until the Federal Trade Commission finishes its investigation.
Tilson also referenced Bernie Madoff in his comments about Herbalife, which were shared with ValueWalk via email earlier today. He said there’s evidence that suggests Herbalife is “the largest fraud since Madoff/Enron.”
Tilson’s remarks came in a general email he sent to investors covering several other companies as well.