Carl Icahn sells more than half of his Herbalife stake

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and relinquishes his seats on the board of directors of the nutritional supplement company, stepping back from a long-standing investment he has fiercely defended against the onslaught of rival activist investor #William #Ackman.

#Mr #Icahn sold about $ 600 million of his 16% stake in #Herbalife to the company in recent days, according to people familiar with the matter. #That leaves him with a roughly 6% stake, worth $ 400 million. #Since his holdings will drop below the level stipulated in a deal #Mr #Icahn made with the company, he also plans to relinquish the five board seats currently held by his representatives, the people said.

The move helps cement a big win for the rambling octogenarian billionaire, who is said to have made well over $ 1 billion on the investment.
#Mr. #Icahn has been #Herbalife’s largest shareholder since 2013. #He has remained loyal to the company through challenges from #Mr. #Ackman and regulators and the resignation of its CEO after being caught on tape cheering on a colleague circumvent the rules of expense accounts.

#Mr. #Icahn first invested in the stock at the end of 2012. The investment presented a far-reaching challenge for #Mr. #Ackman, who had gambled against the company and publicly crossed against his business model, which is based on a network of distributors, calling it a pyramid scheme. The company said it was a multi-level legal marketing organization and fought it at every turn.

The opposing bets of the two big activists led to an acrimonious public showdown, with #Mr. #Ackman predicting the action would go to zero and the men trading blows in a shouting match on live television. #Mr #Ackman largely pulled out his losing bet of $ 1 billion over five years in 2018.

#Mr. #Icahn’s deal with the company in 2013 gave him two seats and he subsequently took more space in what is now a 13-member board. #Its representatives include former MPs #Jonathan #Christodoro and #Nicholas #Graziano and longtime attorney general #Jesse #Lynn.

#Herbalife has a market value of approximately $ 6.3 billion. #Its shares were roughly flat in 2020, but have multiplied several-fold over the past decade. #In #November, the company reported better-than-expected third-quarter profits and said it expected fourth-quarter sales to increase 10% to 20% year-over-year. #He also appointed a new chief financial officer.

#Herbalife has repurchased shares and the deal with #Mr #Icahn comes after the company offered to buy a large chunk of its shares at the last closing price of $ 48.05, people familiar with the matter said. #Mr #Icahn accepted the offer in part because he saw no need for additional activism within the company, they said.

#Mr. #Icahn sold $ 550 million in #Herbalife stock in 2018, telling the #Wall #Street #Journal at the time that “there’s an old #Icahn rule, when you make more than $ 1.5 billion on a situation. , you sell a little. ”

#Write to #Cara #Lombardo à [email protected]

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