Herbalife CEO Calls Bill Ackman Stock Manipulator
Shares of Herbalife (NYSE: HLF) tumbled on Wednesday after it was reported that hedge fund manager Bill Ackman has sold short shares of the company.
Herbalife fell over 10 percent and was halted on circuit breaker.
It is currently unknown as to why Ackman is short the company, but it is likely to be revealed tomorrow, as Ackman is scheduled to present at a special session of the Ira Sohn investment conference.
In response, Herbalife's CEO Michael Johnson called into CNBC and, on air, defended his company. Most notably, Johnson said that the U.S. would be “better off when Bill Ackman is gone.” (Earlier in the year, Ackman said that he was short a company that the country would be better off without).
Johnson accused Ackman of being a stock manipulator, noting a large put option interest open against his company's stock. He also urged the SEC to take action.
Following those comments, CNBC's Kate Kelly stated that she had spoken to Ackman, and that he did not have put options, but was only short the stock.
Shares of Herbalife traded at $38.17 on Wednesday, down over 10 percent.
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