Convinced by Icahn: Large Herbalife (HLF) Holder Built Stake Amid Salvo

September 18, 2013 12:36 PM EDT
Herbalife (NYSE: HLF) is up Wednesday as Post Holding (NYSE: POST) CEO Bill Stiritz has taken a keen eye to the company.

Bloomberg noted that Stiritz began accumulating shares following activist investor Carl Icahn issuing a response when Pershing Square's Bill Ackman said he was short the company earlier this year. He has since become Herbalife's fourth-largest investor, with a 5.2 percent stake, or $250 million investment.

Along with making an investment in the company, Stiritz also became a distributor, paying $55 for access to contracts and sales materials. Aside from not liking Ackman's sort of activism, Stirlitz likes Herbalife's model and sees shakes as a low-cost way to fight obesity. He even referred to Herbalife as a national treasure during one recent interview.

Ackman said to Bloomberg during a telephone interview, When an investor with the track record of Bill Stiritz invests in a pyramid scheme, unfortunately it will only be the reputation of the pyramid scheme that remains intact. Stirlitz replied, I haven’t invested in a pyramid scheme. It’s my money versus his investors’ money. May the best analyst win.

Since Ackman disclosed his position last December, shares of Herbalife have gained 72 percent. Shares are down 0.8 percent today.

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