Ackman Says Pershing Will Extend Herbalife Short Bet If NeededBeth Jinks
Bill Ackman, the hedge-fund manager who has mounted a two-year campaign to prove Herbalife Ltd. is a pyramid scheme, will extend his bet against the company should he need to.
The cost of maintaining a position in options that profit from a drop in Herbalife shares has declined “substantially” since Herbalife canceled its dividend, Ackman said in his quarterly letter to investors dated today. Most of the over-the-counter contracts Pershing currently holds will expire next year.
“We will extend their terms by paying additional premiums if it is necessary to do so,” Ackman wrote in the letter, which was obtained by Bloomberg News.
Ackman has bet $1 billion against Herbalife and mounted a campaign that was capped by a more than three-hour presentation on July 22 purporting to show that the company is an Enron-style fraud. Investors brushed off his arguments, sending the stock up 25 percent in one day.
Today’s letter also acknowledged that the lengthy presentation and the hype he generated ahead of it were missteps. Herbalife shares, which have since tumbled after the company’s earnings missed projections later in July, are down almost 20 percent in the past year.