On Friday, Carl Icahn resigned as U.S. Secretary for Regulatory Extirpation. Unlike everyone else on Wall Street fleeing the white supremacist taint of the current White House (or not), he made abundantly clear that morality played no part in the decision and that the president gave him his blessing. As it turns out, Uncle Carl wasn’t really doing very much anyway (“I had no duties whatsoever”) and is way too busy to help out anyway.
I sincerely regret that because of your extremely busy schedule, as well as my own, I have not had the opportunity to spend nearly as much time as I’d hoped on regulatory issues. I truly appreciate the confidence you have in me and sincerely hope that the limited insights I shared have been helpful to you.
One of the things keeping him too busy to advise the President of the United States of America is continuing to turn the screws on Bill Ackman.
The nutritional-supplements company disclosed a barrage of news Monday that sent its stock surging, including now-dead talks to go private, a new share buyback plan and a pact with its biggest investor, Icahn. The statement dealt a quick blow to Ackman and others that have bet against Herbalife’s stock, while handing a paper profit to Icahn….
Icahn has agreed to keep his stake below 50 percent unless he makes a move to buy the company outright, Herbalife said. He owns about 24 percent of shares outstanding, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, and has five representatives on the company’s 13-member board as the result of a previous agreement.
Of course, it wouldn’t be Bill Ackman if his week opened with just one bit of bad news.
Pershing Square, which owns an 8% stake in ADP, earlier this month tapped its founder Mr. Ackman, Veronica Hagen, the former chief executive of materials company Polymer Group Inc. and V. Paul Unruh, a former Bechtel Group executive, for seats on ADP’s board. But ADP board members voted unanimously to reject all of them, announcing Monday morning that its nominating committee “determined that none of the Pershing Square nominees bring additive skills or experience….”
“Adding Mr. Ackman’s nominees would not be an improvement,” said John Jones, chairman of ADP’s board. “Unlike Mr. Ackman’s nominees, ADP’s directors have a deep understanding and appreciation of the current state of ADP’s business and its clients.”
If you’re looking for Ackman, he’ll be having some philosophical moments in his empty 90th-floor investment property, gazing into the sky.