Bill Ackman handed Carl Icahn a big reason to think fondly of the hedge-fund manager, a week after the two staged a public reconciliation over disagreements that stretch back a decade.
Icahn, 78, made $234 million Tuesday on his stake in Herbalife Ltd., as a three-hour-plus presentation by Ackman in New York, meant to show that the company is a fraud, failed to convince the market. Instead Herbalife shares rocketed more than 25 percent to $67.77, their biggest single-day gain. Icahn is the largest shareholder in the company, with a 17.3 percent stake.
Last week, the two men told an audience at the CNBC Institutional Investors Delivering Alpha Conference in New York that they had made up. They hadn’t spoken in at least a year after Icahn called Ackman, 48, “a crybaby” and a “liar” in a January 2013 CNBC interview. “I do respect Bill,” Icahn said at the conference, adding he told Ackman that “it’s a blessing to forgive.”
Ackman has argued that Herbalife is a pyramid scheme and made a $1 billion bet in December 2012 that the stock would tumble. His Pershing Square Capital Management LP shorted, or bet against, the shares at about $48, based on Bloomberg estimates.
Herbalife’s largest shareholders include Soros Fund Management LLC, Richard Perry’s Perry Corp. and William Stiritz, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
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