During today’s investor presentation, Herbalife’s president Des Walsh said the ‘most offensive thing’ from Bill Ackman’s short thesis was when he showed photos of their “Nutrition Clubs.”Walsh says the clubs provide value to these communities, many of which are lower income and have a need for education about nutrition.
“This isn’t a country club in Westchester or Connecticut,” he said, adding “This is America” and we “shouldn’t speak down about it.”
Ackman, who has an “enormous” short position, believes Herbalife is a pyramid scheme. He also has a price target of $0 and believes the company is going to fail.
During a special Sohn Conference presentation last month, Ackman talked about how Herbalife portrays its “Nutrition Clubs” as “vibrant retail channels.” To demonstrate this point, he put up a slide using a clip from Herbalife’s Today Magazine showing a crowd of happy people drinking smoothies in a sunny and airy space.
Ackman also quoted the CFO from a conference call two months ago saying investors are encouraged to visit the clubs.
So the Pershing Square team decided to check out some clubs in Queens, New York and Omaha, Nebraska between March and September 2012.
They took some photos and we’ve included their findings in the slides that follow. Basically, Pershing Square’s findings show that these clubs don’t look like the ones that were advertised in the magazine from Herbalife.
Here's what a Herbalife Nutrition Club really looks like, according to Pershing Square Capital Management.
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