Herbalife hit by report that Icahn wants out

Herbalife hit by report that Icahn wants out

Herbalife hit by report that Icahn wants out

"At the time of the disclosure, Ackman declared that I have no interest in increasing my position in Herbalife. Ackman may be a smart guy but he has clearly succumbed to the same unsafe (and sometimes fatal) malady that afflicts many investors - he's developed a very bad case of 'Herbalife obsession"'.

The stock gained more than 3 percent in extended trading.

Herbalife shares had fallen as much as 7.8% earlier Friday on concern Mr. Icahn would sell, but ended down only 2.3%, to $60.50, spurred in part by a dramatic late buying surge. Ackman later confirmed to Bloomberg News that he didn't buy any of Icahn's stock and would have quickly sold the shares if he had. "The sooner he sells the better", Ackman said.

The potential sale of Icahn's stake, which was reported by The Wall Street Journal Friday, comes a month after the U.S. Federal Trade Commission closed its investigation of Herbalife and said it needs to rework the way in which it pays its salespeople.

The duo even became embroiled in a public war of words, with Icahn famously calling Ackman a "liar" and a "crybaby" in a CNBC interview in 2013.

Before his most recent purchase, Icahn had a roughly 18 percent stake in Herbalife, according to the data company FactSet, twice the size of the next largest stake. It was down almost 5% at 58.99 in afternoon trading in the stock market today, pushing it further below its 50-day moving average and close to its 200-day line.

Herbalife fell 2.3% in Friday trading, but it shot up more than 4% in after-hours trading after Icahn's statement.

Representatives for Herbalife and Icahn did not immediately respond to a request for comment Friday.

Ackman for years has accused Herbalife of running a pyramid scheme and bet that the stock would fall to zero.

"If Carl sells", he said, "it can accelerate the demise of the company". "The big positive catalyst that was out there is gone". The deal also capped the amount of Herbalife stock Icahn could acquire at 25 percent of the shares.

"I view that obviously very favorable, obviously that he's a seller now".

Herbalife is a global nutrition company that has been changing people's lives with great products since 1980.

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