BILL ACKMAN: Herbalife Looks Just Like A Company The Feds Accused Of Being A Pyramid Scheme

Bill Ackman

Photo: Reuters/ Lucas Jackson

Activist investor manager Bill Ackman, the CEO of $12 billion Pershing Square Capital Management, has released a new presentation taking on Herbalife. Late last year, Ackman publicly announced that he’s shorting more than a 20 million shares of Herbalife, a multi-level marketing firm that sell nutrition products.

The premise of his short thesis is that he believes the company is a pyramid scheme and that the government will be induced to investigate the company. Ackman has a price target of zero on his short.  In other words, he thinks the company will fail.

Taking the other side, a number of hedge fund managers have snapped up big long positions in Herbalife, most notably Daniel Loeb of Third Point and Ackman’s long-time rival Carl Icahn. 

Ackman’s latest presentation compares Herbalife to Fortune Hi-Tech Marketing, a multi-level marketing company that was accused of operating as a pyramid scheme by the Federal Trade Commission and Attorneys General from Kentucky, North Carolina and Illinois.

We’ve included his new slide deck “Side-by-Side: A Comparison of Fortune Hi-Tech Marketing and Herbalife” in the slides that follow.  

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