Getty Images Entertainment/ Stephen Lovekin/StaffHedge fund titan Bill Ackman, the CEO of $12 billion Pershing Square Capital Management, is having an epic morning.
Ackman, who is frequently in the in the media spotlight, is all over financial news for Herbalife and JCPenney.
Prior to the opening bell, shares of Herbalife, Ackman’s big short, were halted for news pending and there was a delayed opening.
At first, people were speculating that his long-time rival Carl Icahn was going to make a move since Ackman was already having a rough go of it with JCPenney this morning. That would have been a double whammy for sure.
Anyway, the news is that Herbalife’s auditor Los Angeles-based KPMG is resigning, DealBook reports.
The reason is a senior partner inside KPMG was providing non-public information about Herbalife to an unnamed person. That person has been fired.
According to CNBC’s Scott Wapner, the third party was not related to Ackman or Icahn, according to an unnamed source.
The stock hasn’t resumed trading yet.
Ackman is shorting more than 20 million shares of Herbalife, a multi-level marketing company that sells nutrition products. He believes the company is a pyramid scheme and has a price target of $0.
Not everyone agrees with Ackman’s thesis on the nutrition company. A number of hedge funders, most notably Daniel Loeb (Third Point) and Carl Icahn, have snapped up big long positions.
Then there’s JCPenney, the biggest loser on the S&P this morning. The retailer is down almost 10% this morning.
Ackman, who is on the retailer’s board, is the biggest shareholder of JCPenney with an 18.11% stake, or 39,075,771 shares, according the latest 13F filing.
The stock rose on the news, but tumbled after the retailer said its former CEO Mike Ullman would step in as the interim chief.