Tuesday, 3 May 2016
Last updated 8 min ago
Apr 2 2013 | 10:30am ET
Has all the sound and fury surrounding Herbalife signified nothing, save profits all around?
To listen to the primary hedge fund antagonists in the matter, Pershing Square Capital Management founder William Ackman and Carl Icahn, the battle over the nutritional supplements company is a zero-sum game: Ackman says Herbalife is a pyramid scheme whose stock will eventually prove worthless. Icahn says it’s a great opportunity, presenting another opportunity, that to destroy Ackman.
But, owing to their different points of entry into the Herbalife fray, both men—and Third Point's Daniel Loeb, who bet with Icahn on the long side without any of the animus that animates the elder investor—are sitting on gains.
Ackman, who announced his $1 billion short in December, sending Herbalife shares into a tailspin, remains up more than $200 million on paper. Loeb, who sent the stock to something of a rebound when he announced his disagreement with Ackman, made between $50 million and $200 million, The Wall Street Journal reports. Loeb has since sold most of his Herbalife shares.
Icahn, who says he is working with Herbalife on its business model, has turned an approximately $25 million unrealized profit, according to the Journal.