A question that many have asked themselves and others since Bill Ackman announced he was shorting shake and supplement company Herbalife is, "Okay, but for how long? When does it end?" The Pershing Square founder and his team could very well be right in classifying the organization as a pyramid scheme, but central to their argument is that the government is going to shut this thing down, and that might not happen. Will Pershing keep its position forever? Long after Bill retires and for many years after that? Will CEO Michael Johnson ever be free from this man who haunts his dreams or will Ackman always be there, watching, waiting? In an interview yesterday, the most passionate hedge fund manager to ever live said basically yes to the latter.
Only thing is, it won't necessarily be a work project in perpetuity.
If I decide for any reason, or no reason, just economically the right thing to do is shut off the position, cover my short, sell the puts that we own, I'll do that. That's the right thing to do for investors. But I intend to continue to pursue this personally, philanthropically, if there's more money needed to investigate or research or litigate or whatever is required I intend to pursue it personally. And I'm fortunate in having the resources to do it.
If anyone at Herbalife thought for even a second Ackman was going to put them out of their misery, they thought wrong. If Pershing is ever out, Bill is still all in. He'll work on this with the weekend and after-hours ferocity that others reserve only for the fantasy football leagues.
Bill Ackman: I'll fight Herbalife with personal fortune [CNN Money via Heidi Moore]