Bill Ackman and Carl Icahn's tumultuous relationship is legendary. Their on again/off again/on again relationship makes them the Ross and Rachel of the hedge fund world.
But like so many other lovers that have come between them, it appears that the battle over Herbalife has pitted Carl and Bill against each other once again. After rumors circulated that Icahn was going to sell his HLF shares and help satisfy Ackman's blood lust, Carl took to his blog to basically say "I would prefer that Bill Ackman get my name out his damn mouth." He then announced that he'd already bought more Herbalife shares just to twist that knife.
And like so many Joeys trying to get them back together, CNBC interviewed Icahn and asked about Ackman. It went about as well as you'd think...
"If anyone should feel boxed in, it's Ackman," Icahn said in an exclusive interview with CNBC.com. "Ackman is an astute student of the market, as I am, and I think he would probably agree that there is very rarely, if ever, a company with the short interest, as it was just announced of 27.2 million shares of the 92 million shares outstanding. Of the 92 million, there are 20 percent to 25 percent that are closely held."
In Icahn-speak that roughly translates to "Bill Ackman is a smart guy who doesn't know what numbers mean."
But why read into what Icahn is saying when he'll do us one better and insult Ackman in old-fashioned real talk? Take it away Uncle Carl...
"I don't believe any professional short-sellers, would ever take a position in a company with these numbers," Icahn said. "As the old saying goes, fools will go where angels fear to tread."
How can you not root for these two?