The battle between hedge fund titans William Ackman and Carl Icahn over Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE: HLF) is becoming one of the most entertaining Wall Street clashes.
Icahn has fired the latest shot: In a filing Thursday, he revealed he has a 13% long position in the nutritional supplement maker Herbalife. He said the thinks the company is undervalued and has great potential.
That can’t be good news for Icahn’s longtime nemesis, Ackman, who is betting heavily on Herbalife’s failing.
Ackman announced a $1 billion short position in Herbalife on Dec. 19, then detailed on Dec. 20 in a more than three-hour presentation why he believed Herbalife is a multilevel marketing pyramid scheme.
But Icahn couldn’t disagree more, highlighted in this latest regulatory filing. Icahn said he plans to have discussions with Herbalife management about business and strategic alternatives to enhance shareholder value and mentioned going private.
Shares of Herbalife spiked 20% before the opening bell Friday and ended the day up 1.2%.
With Icahn’s $214 million stake in Herbalife, the stage is set for an epic Wall Street showdown.