February 20, 2013 / 5:25 PM / 5 years ago

Herbalife says has had "short" discussions with Icahn

Feb 20 (Reuters) - Herbalife Ltd said it has had “short” discussions with billionaire investor Carl Icahn, who last week revealed a long position in the diet supplements company and expressed an interest to explore strategic alternatives.

“Yes, we’ve had short discussions with Icahn. Beyond that, there’s nothing concrete to report,” said Chief Executive Michael Johnson in reply to an analyst’s question on a post-earnings conference call on Wednesday.

The company, whose stock has become a battle ground between hedge fund titans Icahn and William Ackman, who has a high-profile short position in the company, raised its full-year earnings forecast on Tuesday.

Icahn revealed in a regulatory filing last week that he owns a stake of about 13 percent in Herbalife and said he wanted to meet with Herbalife’s management “regarding the business and strategic alternatives to enhance shareholder value, such as a recapitalization or a going-private transaction.”

Icahn has declined to say whether his firm, Icahn Enterprises LP, would launch a tender offer for shares of the weight-loss products company, but did say that financing a takeover would not be a problem.

Herbalife shares were down 1.4 percent at $39.15 in afternoon trading on the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday.

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