Herbalife Ltd. (HLF) Updates: New Advisor, Addition of Lobbyists & More

Editor’s Note:  Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF), J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP)

Herbalife hires former L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa as advisor (Los Angeles Times)
Nutritional products company Herbalife, battling allegations that it operates an illegal pyramid scheme, has a new and unexpected advocate: former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. Villaraigosa, who left office June 30 after eight years as mayor, will serve as a senior advisor to Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF) Chief Executive Michael O. Johnson and the company’s board of directors, the company said Thursday in a news release.

Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF)

Herbalife signs up big-shot lobbyists (New York post)
Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF) is prepping for war in Washington. The controversial multi-level marketing company led by CEO Michael Johnson has added the Podesta Group, a high-powered DC lobbying firm founded by Tony and John Podesta, to its growing list of lobbyists. The Podesta Group has longstanding ties to the Democratic establishment, indicating Herbalife is trying to shore up liberal support in addition to getting help from traditional Republican backers, like Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah, to head off any regulatory action.

Hanging On To Herbalife And Its Wild Ride (Investing Daily)
Are herbal medicines the secret to a healthy life? Who knows? Plenty of studies vary on the topic, and we’ll leave it to the nutritionists and medical professionals to hash it out. But one thing’s for sure, some herbal products are the secret to favorite treatment from powerful US Senators—at least, the ones made by the company that makes certain herbal products. Eyebrows were lifted after a major nutritional supplement company, Los Angeles-based Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF), gave $100,000 to Sen. Tom Harkin’s public policy institute only two short months after company executives met with the Iowa Democrat in a private meeting in tony Beverly Hills, Calif.

Is It A Good Time To Buy Herbalife? (Seeking Alpha)
With the beginning of the current decade, a rapid change was witnessed in the global sports nutrition and meal replacement market. Historically, only a selected few groups, which included those actively involved in sports or dedicated bodybuilders, were the primary consumers of these products. Now, with the heightened awareness of health issues along with the move towards a healthy life style, an increasing number of regular people have started consuming nutritional meals and supplements. The availability of various nutritional products in different forms such as beverages and replacement meals, which were previously only available in the form of medicine, further supported the shifting trend.

J.C. Penney, Herbalife bets put Ackman’s fund in the red in August: sources (The Globe and Mail)
William Ackman’s Pershing Square Capital Management is largely flat for the year after a bruising August in which the hedge fund lost 3.6 per cent, said two investor sources who are not permitted to discuss the private fund’s numbers publicly. The sharp decline was largely driven by big bets on J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP) and Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF) and have left Pershing Square, with $10.73-billion in assets, badly trailing the broader hedge fund industry and the overall stock markets.

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