William “Bill” Stiritz — Herbalife’s largest individual shareholder — has cut back his massive position in the multi-level marketer.
Stiritz sold 2,805,835 shares during the fourth quarter ended December 31, according to a new securities filing.
He now owns 4,783,306 shares, a positio valued at around $215.6 million based on the current stock price.
He had held 7,589,141 shares, or an 8.2% stake.
Stiritz is the former CEO of the food company Post Holdings.
The second-largest shareholder is Herbalife’s CEO Michael Johnson, and he owns just over 1.74 million shares, according to data from Bloomberg.
Herbalife is a a multilevel marketing firm that sells nutrition products like weight-loss shakes and vitamins. The company has been at the center of a hedge fund war for more than three years.
Activist investor Bill Ackman, the CEO of $13 billion Pershing Square Capital, has been publicly crusading against the Herbalife since December 2012. It’s Ackman’s belief that the company operates as a “pyramid scheme” that targets poor people. He believes regulators, specifically the Federal Trade Commission, will shut the company down.
The FTC opened an investigation in March 2014. There haven’t been any new developments on the regulatory front.
Herbalife has always denied Ackman’s allegations.
The Stiritz stake
On September 3, 2013, Stiritz first disclosed his long Herbalife position. At the time, Stiritz owned 5,382,362 shares, or a 5.22% stake. We estimated then that Stiritz’s Herbalife stake was worth about $322 million. The stock closed at $59.90 the day he disclosed that position.
On November 18, 2013, (when Herbalife was at $67.20) Stiritz added 1,081,838 shares. And again on January 29, 2014, (when Herbalife was at $62.82), Stiritz added 1,020,604 shares to his position.
On April 3, 2015, he disclosed that he had added 104,337 shares. Herbalife’s shares had closed at $42.91 the day before.
Since Stiritz first reported the position through the end of the fourth quarter, shares of Herbalife have slumped more than 12%.
In 2016, Herbalife’s share price has fallen about 16%.
The stock was trading at $45.09 on Tuesday.
We don’t know Stiritz’s personal net worth. He’s not mentioned on the billionaire lists from either Forbes or Bloomberg.
Stiritz is Post Holdings’ largest individual shareholder, with approximately 1.43 million shares, or a 2.23% stake, Bloomberg data shows. He added 549,642 shares to his Post stake earlier this month, the data shows. His Post stake is worth around $96.2 million based on where the stock’s been trading on Tuesday.
Here’s how Herbalife has performed since Stiritz became an investor through the end of 2015:
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