Billionaire Carl Icahn has emerged as a winner from another battle of titans. Or so it seems. When Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF) agreed to a $200 million settlement with Federal Trade Commission on Friday, Icahn quickly issued a statement, reiterating his firm belief that the company is not a “pyramid scheme.” Through Icahn Capital and its affiliates, Carl Icahn holds exactly 17 million shares, which represent 18.3% of Herbalife’s common stock.
Icahn has issued a statement together with a recent filing with the SEC, where he wrote that “the FTC settlement announced today, coming after a two-year investigation also concluded that Herbalife is not a pyramid scheme – a conclusion that obviously vindicates our research and conviction.” The controversy surfaced several hours later when FTC chairwoman Edith Ramirez said: “They [Herbalife] were not determined not to be a pyramid. That would be inaccurate.” The use of a double negative has left investors uncertain and it came down to Icahn to appease market participants again. In an interview on Monday, Icahn said: “If the FTC thought we were a pyramid scheme, in my opinion they would have not settled; they would have tried to shut us down.” Carl Icahn has emerged the big winner from this debacle, netting an estimated $457 million in profits according to Fortune. At the other end of the stick is Bill Ackman, the one who started it all by criticizing Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF)’s business model and whose losses are close to $500 million according to the same source.
Hedge fund interest in Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF) picked up during the first quarter, with the number of long positions among the funds tracked by Insider Monkey rose to 37 at the end of March, from 31 registered three months earlier. David E Shaw’s D E Shaw also held a significant positions, having boosted it by 449% during the quarter. According to its 13F filing, the fund held 3.34 million shares at the end of March. William Duhamel’s Route One Investment Company was not far behind, having amassed 3.15 million shares during the quarter.
You can access the original SEC filing by clicking here.
Ownership Summary Table
|Name||Sole Voting Power||Shared Voting Power||Sole Dispositive Power||Shared Dispositive Power||Aggregate Amount Owned Power||Percent of Class|
|High River Limited Partnership||3,399,999||0||3,399,999||0||3,399,999||3.66%|
|Icahn Partners Master Fund||5,430,218||0||5,430,218||0||5,430,218||5.85%|
|Icahn Enterprises Holdings||0||13,600,001||0||13,600,001||13,600,001||14.66%|
|Icahn Enterprises G.P. Inc||0||13,600,001||0||13,600,001||13,600,001||14.66%|
|Carl C. Icahn||0||17,000,000||0||17,000,000||17,000,000||18.32%|