Bill Ackman has made yet another claim about Herbalife Ltd. He recently spoke at Saiid Business School at the University of Oxford, talking on the subjects of investing in Herbalife, J.C. Penney Company, Inc. and Canadian Pacific Railway Limited.).
He has said that in all of his investment career, he’s had 24 wins, two losses and only one tie. At this point it’s unclear which category Herbalife falls into.
Here’s What Bill Ackman Had To Say About Herbalife
He once again predicted that Herbalife Ltd (NYSE:HLF) would go bust. This time, he put a time frame on it, although it’s a pretty big time frame.
“I’ll make a prediction,” he told the interviewer. “…This business will be shut down, this business will collapse, I can’t give you the precise date, but we will have made progress in that direction within 12 months.”
Ackman has been attempting to chip away at the company for almost a year now by calling it a pyramid scheme. In the interview at Oxford, he said that the company targets “unsophisticated, unemployed, low income” people, particularly those in immigrant communities. A number of lawmakers and leaders of organizations have come forward along with Ackman to urge regulators to investigate Herbalife, although they haven’t moved on it yet.
Ackman claims 99% of people lose money distributing Herbalife Ltd (NYSE:HLF). He believes there are about 50 people who make $5 million or $10 million a year and just a thousand who make a few hundred thousand a year from Herbalife. He also claims 3.6 million people lose between $300 and $30,000 or more by distributing the company’s products.
So why does Ackman remain convinced that Herbalife Ltd (NYSE:HLF) will collapse? He says it’s simple. He believes pyramid schemes eventually run out of “victims” and then collapse. He notes that the company increased its sales in the U.K. in the last quarter by 92% and said that it has found “a new immigrant population to go after” there.
According to Ackman, people think they have to buy $3,000 in inventory before they start earning royalties. He called it an “inventory loading scheme.” He suggests that it’s only a matter of time before the company runs out of people to target.
Bill Ackman vs Carl Icah: The Feud Continues?
Ackman also called out fellow activist investor Carl Icahn, who he’s been feuding with for a long time. The two hedge fund managers have been facing off over Herbalife Ltd (NYSE:HLF), with Ackman taking a major short position and Icahn going long. After Ackman announced his major short position last December, shares of the company’s shares started falling, but then Icahn got involved.
“So far so good, until Carl Icahn came along and bought 16% of the company,” Ackman told the interviewer. “Said I was totally wrong, and it seems like every day he goes on CNBC and says what a great company it is, and every time he says it, the stock goes up another couple of dollars.”
Carl Icahn blasted Ackman’s methods earlier this year, saying that there’s something wrong with him but that the activist investing model itself is why his fund performs so well.
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