Bill Ackman’s Alleged Campaign To Destroy Company Is a Cover For His “Reckless” $1 Billion Short Bet; Shares Rise 2%

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The contest of words between Herbalife (HLF), the embattled nutritional supplements maker, and noted short-seller Bill Ackman heated up, with Herbalife characterizing Ackman’s efforts as putting pressure on lawmakers and regulators to destroy the firm.

The Herbalife statement followed a story in The New York Times that concluded Ackman, head of the Pershing Square hedge fund, has “leveraged the corridors of power” for his hedge fund’s profit after making a $1 billion bet against the stock.

“Ackman’s unprecedented campaign to destroy Herbalife has now been exposed for what it is: a cynical self-serving attempt to manipulate the market by buying his way into an investigation to cover his own reckless $1 billion dollar bet,” Herbalife stated.

Sen. Edward Markey, D-Mass., among others, has asked the SEC to investigate whether Herbalife’s multi-level marketing system could be defined as a pyramid scheme.

In afternoon trade, HLF was up 2.07% to $66.08.

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