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Ackman: Herbalife hedge fund heat was a surprise

Friday, April 05, 2013 - 03:53

Activist investor Bill Ackman tells Reuters Impact Players host Robert Wolf his public bet against Herbalife was bound to stir controversy, but he was surprised so many in the hedge fund world tried to put a ''short squeeze'' against him. Wolf is an outside adviser to President Barack Obama.

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Did I think that of a group of hedge fund managers would take the other side of the trade him. And try to you know orchestrated -- please -- You've become most notably famous for the public feud you've got what I'll -- kind -- getting to that. Other than. Do you feel like you under estimated how personal this fight. Over horrible life was going to be com. In the case of Herbalife. I couldn't really believe I came to the conclusion that how can this company really exist how is it possible. Four billion revenue business with a seven billion dollar market cap. His parents. And but you know how can Bernie Madoff had fifty billion dollars under management environments game. And I debated I wanna go public with this and you know the first part of that analysis is one. We got to get to a level of certainty here that is higher than any other investment ever had again to come out -- companies effectively violate laws pretty serious. -- accusation. I would wanna do on her own and we are going to talk more from -- country who did six months with the work came to the same conclusion. That agree to. Meet with regulators with us which I think it's important part of our. The work we did but still don't want the public and take the heat and the problem with short selling. As it's still not accepted as they. Particularly well accepted as an American way of investing it seems like something apparently shot that we are evil about short sellers. I mean look at some of the you know David arms column Lehman -- -- -- call on -- -- house on he still talking about China and if if Lehman. Had done recapitalization. In response to David I'm missing an inadequate capital Lehman would still exist. And I don't know exactly -- of the the course of the financial crisis moves -- -- -- financial crisis probably not a speaker. Had and DIA in effect -- capitalized -- the point about the adequacy of the capital you know. -- -- a -- would have a better. But literature. And -- Herbalife. That include the risk reward is very attractive we -- by virtuous sharing our thinking publicly impairments -- -- -- deception. There are they got to recruit almost a cup two million people a year to keep this thing going and a growing number keep let's keep growing. It's harder to do that when there's tremendous visibility. About the business model -- -- been forced to update its disclosures that is now sending to its distributors and in fact 88% distribute and nothing they can no royalties from. For -- that's not a fact that they were going to disclose publicly before. They've been forced to shut down some of this -- generation recruitment that happens on the Internet which is a completely. The way it's done by the distributors as we believe totally violation law just by virtue of going public we mitigate the risk of being short does it affect their ability to see people. Affects the fundamentals the company that. It reduces the downside of being short the stock price rising. And then we have the benefit of -- potential -- you know wouldn't have guessed that until all that's the kind of he's just not that I think. That a group of hedge fund managers would take the other side of the trade it. And try to you know orchestrated -- we have now. I didn't think that in fact when things disappointing about that guy I doesn't bother -- in all semantics -- every investment have the ultimate short. Things that were long -- obviously long -- -- short that's how markets work. What what sort of nice about hedge fund industry is it was an industry where. It was more. Cooperative industry that you are my people -- treated as competitors because we. We find value together you know ultimately -- BC partnerships and various investments. It was the first case where a lot of sniping going on between senators -- -- I think -- negative industry.

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Ackman: Herbalife hedge fund heat was a surprise

Friday, April 05, 2013 - 03:53

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