Icahn Shopped Herbalife (HLF) Stake to Ackman Group
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(Updated 8:20AM ET) - Adding credence to recent market rumors, the Wall Street Journal reported overnight that Carl Icahn discussed selling his 18% stake in Herbalife (NYSE: HLF) to a group of investors that included Bill Ackman's Pershing Square, which is short the stock.
Bankers from Jefferies have been looking for buyers for Mr. Icahn's stake, the report said.
The status of those talks is unclear and may not lead to a sale.
The report added that Ackman was only interested in buying a small portion of the stake. This suggests he is not looking to cover his short bet on Herbalife, which he has repeatedly said is going to "zero," but only help get Mr. Icahn out of the stock - something he has said he would like to do.
UPDATE: Bill Ackman confirmed in a CNBC interview Friday morning that he was in fact contacted by Jefferies about buying Carl Icahn's Herbalife stake. He said he would be interested in buying a minority position in the Icahn block for a quick trade.
Ackman said Carl Icahn knows Herbalife 'is toast' and that his selling accelerates the demise of the company. He added that investors were right to buy with him at $32 and right to sell with him now.
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