Jan 10 Herbalife Ltd stepped up its
defense against activist investor Bill Ackman on Thursday,
stressing it was a legitimate company with a mission to improve
nutrition and help public health.
At a meeting with investors in New York, officials of the
nutritional supplement company described Herbalife as
retail-oriented. Ackman has called the company an unsustainable
"pyramid scheme" because distributors earn more than 10 times as
much from recruitment as they do by selling company products.
But Herbalife executives said 31 percent of its U.S. orders
in 2012 were shipped to customers who were not Herbalife
distributors, and an outside researcher hired by the company
said 92 percent of Herbalife's customer base was not part of the
company's distributor base.
(Additional reporting by Sam Forgione and Adam Kerlin in New
York; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)