Soros Invests In Herbalife, Prompting Ackman Suspicions

Aug 1 2013 | 10:58am ET

Another grizzled hedge fund veteran is putting the screws to the younger William Ackman.

George Soros' firm has amassed a large long position in nutritional supplements company Herbalife, which Pershing Square Capital Management's Ackman has called a pyramid scheme. Herbalife is now among Soros Fund Management's three largest positions, CNBC reports.

Word that Soros had joined Carl Icahn in betting on Herbalife sent the company's shares soaring, adding to the hundreds of millions of dollars in losses Pershing Square has already suffered on its $1 billion short against the company.

Ackman, who said this week that he hasn't covered any of his Herbalife short, isn't taking Soros' move lying down, referring it to the Securities and Exchange Commission. Ackman believes that Soros and others may be trying to manufacture a short-squeeze to force him to abandon his position, Fox Business Network reports.

In pushing the SEC to investigate, Pershing Square is pointing to what they call the curious timing of Soros' move and to "idea meetings" Soros representatives held with other potential Herbalife investors. Pershing Square wants the SEC to look into whether Soros bought the shares as part of a "common group," which could require a regulatory filing that has not come.

According to Fox, Soros' point-man on the Herbalife investment is Paul Sohn, a Kingdon Capital Management and Duquesne Capital Management veteran who joined the family office last year.

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