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Herbalife Rises After Carl Icahn Increases Stake in Company

  • Ackman had said Jefferies was working on unloading the holding
  • Icahn says he acquired 2.3 million additional Herbalife shares

Herbalife Ltd. rose after billionaire Carl Icahn bought more than 2.3 million shares in the embattled nutrition company, a the high-profile target of fellow billionaire activist investor Bill Ackman.

The stock advanced as much as 3.5 percent to $62.64 in New York. Herbalife had fallen Friday after Ackman said Icahn was looking to sell his stake, not increase it. The comment led to about 10.4 million shares trading hands, or more than six times its daily average. Icahn waited until after Friday’s market close to announce that he’d added 2.3 million shares to his stake.

The two investing heavyweights have been publicly sparring over the fate of the company. Ackman has called it a pyramid scheme, and his hedge fund, Pershing Square Capital Management, is nearing the four-year anniversary of its well-publicized $1 billion bet against the Los Angeles-based maker of fitness and nutrition products.

Icahn, who raised his Herbalife stake to 21 percent, has been on the other side of the debate since 2013. He has been publicly assailing Ackman’s attempted evisceration of Herbalife -- on stages, television, in documentaries and online -- since a January 2013 CNBC phone-in fight. That July, Icahn told a conference he decided to look into Herbalife because he wasn’t “a great fan” of Ackman.

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