NEW YORK, March 10 Leon Cooperman, chief
executive of hedge fund Omega Advisors, said Monday that he
agreed with activist investor Carl Icahn's push for eBay Inc
to spin off its PayPal online payments business.
"I give Carl a lot of credit for taking the time and showing
the energy, and in this case, we happen to agree with him,"
Cooperman, an eBay shareholder, said on CNBC television. "I
think they should spin out a portion of PayPal," he said, noting
that he owns about 2 percent of eBay shares.
Icahn, who owns just over 2 percent of the e-commerce
company, has been pressuring eBay for weeks to spin off PayPal.
The billionaire investor has repeatedly accused eBay of poor
Cooperman also said that the U.S. stock market was fairly
valued at its current levels and would be surprised if it shot
The Standard & Poor's 500 stock index rose 29.6
percent last year, notching its best annual performance since
1997. The benchmark index has risen about 1.6 percent so far
In a separate interview, Icahn told CNBC that eBay Chief
Executive John Donahoe has delivered "mediocre" results for the
company versus peers such as Amazon, Visa and
EBay rejected Icahn's two nominees to its board on Monday,
saying both were unqualified, and urged shareholders to vote
against them at its next annual meeting.
Icahn said Monday that nutrition and weight loss company
Herbalife was not a pyramid scheme, a claim that hedge
fund manager William Ackman has made. Icahn and Ackman have
publicly feuded over the company's value.
Icahn owned about 16.8 percent of Herbalife's shares at the
end of last year, according to regulatory filings, while
Ackman's $12 billion Pershing Square Capital Management has bet
$1.16 billion that the company is a fraud.
"It has gone to a point that I think is almost bordering on
the insane," Icahn said in response to a New York Times article
on Monday about Ackman's $1 billion bet that Herbalife will
fail, entitled "After Big Bet, Hedge Fund Pulls the Levers of
Icahn, chairman of Icahn Enterprises L.P., said he
had "never sold a share" of Herbalife.