A notable opponent of MLMs, FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez announces her resignation, effective Feb. 10. Her exit will leave just two commissioners - one a D, and one a R - meaning the new administration will have three slots to fill.
Ramirez's replacement will also surely be less hostile to mergers (she helped stop the Staples/Office Depot and Sysco/ U.S. Foods deals).
Herbalife (HLF +3.8%), NuSkin (NUS +2.3%), Avon (AVP +1.1%), Primerica (PRI +3%) are among the names which may find easier sledding.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is mailing checks to 350,000 people who lost money after being allegedly misled by Herbalife (HLF -0.1%) about how easy it would be to build a sustainable profitable business from selling its products. The checks are the result of a $200M settlement reached in July 2016.
Critics say the company's restitution, averaging only $571 per check, represents only a small fraction of the losses incurred by thousands of distributors.
Short seller and company tormentor Bill Ackman declined comment. He reportedly remains underwater with his short position.
Herbalife (HLF -0.4%) is down a fraction on light volume in response to the news that a documentary titled "Betting on Zero" will hit theaters sometime in Q1. The film chronicles hedge fund honcho Bill Ackman's attempt to drive the company's stock down with accusations that it operates an illegal pyramid scheme. Despite recent softness, shares are down ~13% in the last two weeks, his efforts have failed to bear fruit.
Distributor Gunpowder & Sky picked up the movie in a bet on revived/continued public interest in the long-running rhubarb. The movie debuted in April at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York.
Herbalife is not ignoring the movie, though. It criticizes the film in its Ackman-dedicated website and a lobbying firm engaged by the company allegedly bought half the tickets at a recent screening in an apparent effort to prevent more people from seeing it.
Director Ted Braun has added new clips to the film including information about the company's $200M FTC settlement and FTC Chief Edith Ramirez's critical comments at a press conference.
Herbalife stock traded at ~$42 when Mr. Ackman shorted the stock. Today, it exchanges hands for ~$55.
Herbalife (NYSE:HLF) -2.7% AH after reporting Q3 earnings and announcing that it will promote COO Rich Goudis to become the new CEO effective June 1, replacing Michael Johnson, who will become the company's executive chairman.
Carl Icahn, who disclosed a 20.78% stake in HLF in August, says he fully supports the board's choice of Goudis as the next CEO.
Part of Goudis’ new job as CEO will be to ward off attacks from Bill Ackman, who has waged a nearly four-year war against HLF.
In an inside baseball look of Carl Icahn's attempt to unload his 17M shares of Herbalife (HLF -0.2%) in August, Fortune reports the best bid Jefferies was able to obtain was $51.50 per share, roughly $10 less than the open market price at the time.
Among those Jefferies contacted as a potential buyer was Bill Ackman, who quickly surmised the seller was Icahn.
A number of events came together, however, giving Icahn just an eight-day window (Aug. 4-12) to sell through an unregistered block trade rather than a formal stock offering. Ackman had his own requirements to worry about, meaning he could only buy about 20% of Icahn's stake within that period.
Though Jefferies couldn't arrange a sale by the 12th, the process continued, and on Aug. 25 the bank found a group of institutional investors willing to pay $51.50 for 11M of Icahn's 17M shares. The sale would have given Icahn a profit of $167M, but left him holding another 6M shares which could be vulnerable once news of his exit came out. Icahn's response: No deal.
It was on Aug. 26 when news of his selling interest hit the press. Within hours, Icahn reversed course, picking up another 2.3M shares that day.
Carl Icahn is asking regulators for the option to up his Herbalife (NYSE:HLF) stake to 50% and said the company would be "better off private" to rid itself of Bill Ackman and avoid some of the public scrutiny it has received.
That would be a huge increase, since Icahn's currently limited to 35% of shares (he raised his Herbalife stake last month to 21%).
Herbalife's (NYSE:HLF) long-term tussle with short seller Bill Ackman still has legs. This morning, the company announced the release of a fourth video directed to his "highly questionable tactics to sully the company which "might cross ethical and possibly legal lines" and "clearly do not meet the established norms of Wall Street and standards of activist investors."
Mr. Ackman launched his short thesis campaign almost four years ago and is still apparently under water.
Carl Icahn is still spiting fellow billionaire Bill Ackman, as an SEC filing shows Icahn bought almost another 307,000 shares of Herbalife (HLF +0.3%) two days ago.
The Form 4 showed Icahn added 306,846 shares at $60.39 on Wednesday -- another $18.5M worth.
His holdings after that add-on come to 19,611,529 shares ($1.2B worth).
Last Friday, after Ackman suggested Icahn was trying to get out from under his position, Icahn went public with news that he actually added 2.3M more shares, and criticized Ackman for an "Herbalife obsession."