The website represents the latest salvo in a high-stakes battle
between Ackman and investor Carl Icahn, who has taken a major stake
in Herbalife and will soon control five seats on its 13-member board
Ackman, who runs the $12 billion hedge fund Pershing Square Capital,
announced a $1 billion short bet against Herbalife in 2012 and since
then has been lobbying lawmakers and regulators to investigate it.
He claims Herbalife misleads recruits about how much money they can
make buying its products in bulk and selling them, which Herbalife
The Federal Trade Commission confirmed it opened a probe this month,
but declined to give any details.
Herbalife's site, iamherbalife.com, describes Ackman's claims as
misleading and features a link to dozens of testimonials from users
touting the company's products and how healthy they are after taking
It adds that there is no guarantee of success as a distributor,
contrasting with some of its promotional videos showing distributors
riding snowmobiles and horses, talking about their lavish lifestyles
and how others can copy them.
Herbalife writes on the site that it is a "legitimate multi-level
marketing company" focused on selling its shakes and powders to
people who want to consume them. It also makes clear that Ackman
will make money if Herbalife's share price falls and could lose
money if it climbs.
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The share price has fallen 32 percent since January but has risen
41.78 percent over the last 52 weeks.
The site appears to be a direct response to Ackman's own site,
factsaboutherbalife.com, launched in 2012, which details Ackman's
claims against the company.
Herbalife said it is confident that it is in compliance with all
applicable laws and regulations. It also said it will not comment
further about the FTC probe until there are material developments.
(Reporting by Svea Herbst-Bayliss; editing by Richard Valdmanis and
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