BOSTON Feb 14 William Stiritz, one of the
largest investors in Herbalife Ltd, cut his stake in the
nutrition and weight loss company to 1.4 percent at the end of
the fourth quarter from 5.2 percent a year ago, according to a
regulatory filing on Tuesday.
At the same time billionaire investor Carl Icahn, who has
sparred with rival billionaire William Ackman over the company's
future and has long been Herbalife's biggest owner, raised his
stake during the fourth quarter. He now owns 22.5 million
shares, marking a 14 percent increase from the end of the third
quarter, according to a regulatory filing.
Stiritz, the nonexecutive chairman of cereal maker Post
Holdings who had been chief executive officer of the company
until late 2014, said in a 13G/A filing that he owns roughly 1.3
million shares in Herbalife, or 1.4 percent.
On Feb. 16, 2016, he made a similar filing where he said he
cut his holding to 5.2 percent from 8.2 percent.
Stiritz had been a staunch supporter of Herbalife in its
long-running battle with hedge fund manager Ackman, who has
accused the company of running a pyramid scheme. Herbalife has
repeatedly denied those allegations.
Ackman made a $1 billion short bet against the company in
2012 when the stock was trading around $47 a share. It is now
trading at $60.15. Icahn famously took the other side of
Ackman's bet and now has a handful of directors on the company's
Tuesday marks the deadline for investment managers to show
what they owned at the end of the fourth quarter.
Route One Investment Company raised its investment by 33
percent to own 5.2 million shares while Deccan Value Investors
nearly doubled its investment to own 7.6 million shares. Indus
Capital Partners meanwhile cut its stake by 17 percent to 2.3
million shares and also reduced its call options by 17 percent
to 2.8 million.
(Reporting By Dave Gregorio)