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Wednesday, February 28, 2018

-=Herbalife plans name change, stock split, more share repurchases; Ackman exits bet against company

The share price of Herbalife Ltd. jumped to an all-time high in trading Wednesday in reaction to the company’s proposals of conducting a 2-for-1 split of its stock and expanding its share purchase program by $450 million to $650 million.

The company also plans to change its corporate name to Herbalife Nutrition Ltd., “reflecting the company’s growing leadership and expertise in the field of nutrition.” Herbalife Nutrition has been used recently as a brand for its products.

Also on Wednesday, billionaire hedge-fund activist Bill Ackman told cable business news CNBC that he had ended his $1 billion bet against Herbalife that began on Dec. 19, 2012.


Arguing that the company was a pyramid scheme, with an intrinsic value of zero, Ackman entered into a short position worth $1 billion in 2012. The trade has been chronicled at length by almost every financial news outlet even to this day and was famous for an on-air argument between Ackman and Carl Icahn on CNBC, who amongst other major hedge fund players had taken a long position in the stock. In the weeks following his short position, Ackman saw Herbalife's shares plunge around 60 percent, but the company has proven remarkably resilient, and has rebounded to its pre-short levels, thus costing Ackman millions in borrowing fees, and paper losses. As of February 28, 2018, Ackman has reportedly exited his entire short bet on Herbalife.

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