Herbalife Would've Gone Down For The Dirt Nap Months Ago If Carl Icahn Had Minded His Own Business: Bill Ackman, Basically

Ackman knows this much to be true.
Author:
Publish date:

In December 2012, Bill Ackman made a very public announcement: that he and his firm, Pershing Square, were massively short Herbalife, which Ackman and his team had concluded was a pyramid scheme. If all had gone according to plan, Herbalife would've been out of business by, say, April 2013. May, tops. But things didn't go according to plan, because a guy named Carl Icahn stuck his nose where it didn't belong.

Speaking at a meeting of the Council of Institutional Investors' in Washington, Ackman said again that Herbalife has caused "enormous harm to a very vulnerable population" by targeting undocumented Latinos in the United States and other poor people...Ackman said that when he first bet against Herbalife, he had not anticipated that another billionaire investor, Carl Icahn, would come in, take a long view on the company and "go on CNBC once a week saying how great the company was and how bad I was." Had Icahn not shown up, Ackman said, the whole thing would be over in a few months and Herbalife's alleged pyramid scheme would have collapsed.

For those who missed it at the time, a sampling of Icahn's comments re: Ackman included:

• Going on Bloomberg TV and saying: "I have no respect for him and I don’t like him and that’s not a secret"

• Essentially calling him a sh*tty investor in a press release

• Describing him, during an interview on CNBC, as "a crybaby in a schoolyard"

• Telling Ackman, in the same CNBC interview, "I wouldn’t invest with you if you were the last man on earth"

NO MATTER. Despite Icahn's meddling, and taunts, and barbershop quartets hired to sing Herbalife's praises in front of Pershing Square's offices, Ackman is confident he'll be speaking at Herbalife's funeral in due time.

Ackman...said that shutting down the company is "one of the most important things" he can do.

Ackman says shutting Herbalife down is key to him [Reuters]

Related

How Should Bill Ackman And Carl Icahn Settle This Thing Once And For All?

When Mark Hughs founded a multi-level marketing company called Herbalife in 1980, he probably thought it had the power to do a lot of things. Help people lose weight. Makes others rich. Shake up the diet industry. What he mostly likely did not expect, however, was that his li'l company that could would reignite a feud between two billionaires that would devolve into a flurry of press releases quibbling over who was dying to be friends with whom, shouting matches on live TV, and, we predict, someone telling someone else he has a right mind to "Rip the eyes out of your head and piss into your dead skull! You messed with the wrong hedge fund manager!"

Pershing Square: Herbalife Silenced Us

Earlier today it was noted that, to the surprise of many, Bill Ackman and Carl Icahn had refrained from asking questions or dialing in and making sudden outbursts during this morning's conference call to discuss Herbalife's fourth quarter earnings.  Obviously this came as a shock on account of Ackman and Icahn taking many opportunities in the past to share their feelings re: the company and each other. And while it's true both men personally held their tongue's today, according to Pershing Square, one of its analysts had planned to ask questions on Bill's and the hedge fund's behalf but was shot down.

Carl Icahn Still Thinks Bill Ackman Is A Bum, But That's Just, Like, His Opinion

There are many people in the universe who are fans of hedge fund manager Bill Ackman. They like his style. His charm. The way he makes them feel. The fact that he's not afraid to show his emotions or give them an honest opinion about their new dress or say "You know what? Those highlights really aren't working for you." Carl Icahn, however, is not one of those people. Save for a fleeting moment of supposed amicability following "a lengthy, boozy dinner," Icahn has viewed Ackman as a punk for nearly a decade; an untrustworthy little jerk who Ichan's friends supposedly told him not to do business with. (The feeling being more than a little mutual; as Ackman has put it, "The guy is a shakedown artist. His word is worthless.”) Anyway, in case anyone was wondering if the investors had put an end to their feud with another long, booze-filled meal, wonder no longer.