In a gigantic flop and somewhat of an insult to his ego, William Ackman failed in his attempt to deal an ultimate death blow to Herbalife (NYSE: HLF) today. The threat of Ackman’s death blow loomed large over Herbalife’s stock price this week, but in a dramatic turn of events, iStreet Wire tells us that Mr. Ackman’s three hour anti-Herbalife presentation in front of a crowd of 500 at a Manhattan auditorium today proved itself to be so overblown that Herbalife’s stock price actually rose 25 percent by the time the presentation was over.
The Inquisitr tells us that multi-billion dollar investor and hedge fund owner, William Ackman, has been at odds with the nutritional supplements company, Herbalife Ltd., since 2012 when he accused Herbalife of being a pyramid scheme. Since then, The New York Times tells us that Mr. Ackman has waged an aggressive crusade against Herbalife. Bill Ackman and his hedge fund, Pershing Square Capital Management, have put some serious skin into the game of eliminating Herbalife. Mr. Ackman, in his effort to destroy Herbalife, has placed a $1 billion dollar bet against the company, spent $50 million attacking it, and two years worth of his time pursuing the nutritional supplements marketing company to the ends of the earth.
To the end of the Earth is exactly where Mr. Ackman said he would go in his fight to dispense punishment upon Herbalife and its leadership. The New York Times tells us that Mr. Ackman’s three hour presentation attacking Herbalife was filled with drama, including comparisons of the company and its marketing methods to Enron, drug dealers, the mafia, and Nazis. Mr. Ackman then expanded his line of attacks beyond Herbalife to include anyone in the universe who in some way is affiliated with the company, including auditing firm PricewaterhouseCoopers, the investment bank Moelis & Company, and former secretary of state Madeleine Albright for having spoken at company events. Following the presentation, when it became apparent that investors had collectively balked at Mr. Ackman’s “earth changing” revelations against Herbalife, The New York Times further tells us that Mr. Ackman was still resolute in his efforts and would not back down. When confronted by the lack of impact of his presentation, Mr. Ackman stated that, “I’m an extremely, extremely persistent person. Extremely. And when I believe I am right, and it is important, I will go to the end of the earth.”
Prior to delivering his not-so-epic presentation, The New York Times tells us that Mr. Ackman said this presentation, exposing the alleged evils of Herbalife, “…will be the most important presentation that I have made in my career.”
The immediate increase in Herbalife’s stock price following Mr. Ackman’s presentation against the company seems to indicate solid proof that investors feel that Mr. Ackman failed on his promise to deliver. As if to dump some salt in the wound, Herbalife got the last word in this battle. Following Mr. Ackman’s presentation, Herbalife issued a statement saying, “Once again, Bill Ackman has overpromised and underdelivered on his $1 billion bet against our company. After spending $50 million, two years and tens of thousands of man-hours, Bill Ackman further demonstrated today that the facts are on our side.”
Mr. Ackman may go to the end of the Earth in his efforts to destroy Herbalife, but at this point, it appears as though he’ll be going there alone.