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Herbalife Gets Ally as Stiritz Takes Stake Opposite Ackman

Sept. 3 (Bloomberg) -- William Stiritz, chief executive officer of the company that makes Raisin Bran, has taken a 5.2 percent stake in Herbalife Ltd., giving the nutrition maker another ally as it fights accusations it’s a pyramid scheme.

Stiritz, chairman and CEO of Post Holdings Inc., became the fourth largest Herbalife shareholder after the stock purchase, which he disclosed today in a regulatory filing.

He joins hedge fund manager Carl Icahn, who earlier this year took up the fight against investor Bill Ackman, who has sold Herbalife shares short and said the company is an illegal pyramid scheme that should be shut down. The company has repeatedly denied the allegations.

Icahn, who bought Herbalife shares after Ackman made his accusations, is the company’s largest individual investor, with a 16 percent stake, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The shares fell 1.8 percent to $59.90 at the close in New York, paring an earlier decline of as much as 6.8 percent. The Cayman Islands-based company’s stock has risen 82 percent this year, compared with a 15 percent gain for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index.

To contact the reporter on this story: Duane D. Stanford in Atlanta at dstanford2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Robin Ajello at rajello@bloomberg.net

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