It may have started out as a vicious lark, one that turned out to be spectacularly profitable, but was still based on the aversion of one committed hater to another, another who he believed had wronged him once, and its quixotic albeit ultimately more or less correct (if a little over-excited) analysis opened up an opportunity for vicious vengeance. Yes, the partnership between Carl Icahn and Herbalife, a supplier of gaseous diet shakes, may initially have been nothing more than the financially living embodiment of the axiom that the enemy of his enemy (in this case, crybaby Bill Ackman, before he found love and God) ) The form of an old man for whom he has no longer any use is the friend.
But from then on it blossomed: the casual marriage of convenience turned into a real love, thanks to the lucky chance that made both sides incomparably richer, and appeared in Icahn’s grandfather’s eyes – much more sympathetic, it must be said, than his fatherly ones a real sparkle of affection, even adoration, for this pyramidal son. A real belief that little Scamp was perfect – an odd belief about having a stock that was essentially flat in a year when the markets were breaking dozens of records, which even a company would not find perfect Businesses can expect a strange year, not to mention a company whose business practices regulators keep calling it illegal or illegitimate.
Mr Icahn partially accepted the offer because he saw no additional activism in the company.
Love is a mysterious thing indeed. When did Icahn ever see the need for corporate activism? All his involvement with it was based on the belief that there was no need for activism at all. Oh, and this offer? Why to get Mr. Icahn out of camp, so to speak, or at least most of it?
Mr Icahn has bought back around $ 600 million of his 16% Herbalife stake in the company in the past few days. This gives him a stake of around 6% worth $ 400 million. Given that his holdings will fall below the level set in an agreement with Mr Icahn with the company, he also plans to give up the five directorships currently held by his agents, the company said.
We would suggest now is a good time for Ackman to make a second attempt at the company, but he no longer does such things.
Carl Icahn sells more than half of his Herbalife stake [WSJ]