By Svea Herbst-Bayliss
NEW YORK Feb 14 Carl Icahn on Thursday put his
money where his mouth is.
The billionaire investor said in a regulatory filing that he
owns 14 million shares, or 13 percent, of weight-loss and
vitamin company Herbalife Ltd. and signaled that he is
ready to help put the company in play.
After weeks of speculation over exactly what the famed
corporate raider might be doing, Icahn spoke up and put himself
on a collision course with William Ackman, a rival activist
investor who called Herbalife a house of cards and said he sees
the share price going to zero.
The two men famously tussled on cable television in late
January when Icahn called Ackman a "major loser" and warned him
of trouble ahead in the form of a major short squeeze.
Herbalife's share price surged 20.6 percent in the wake of
Icahn's filing, trading at $46.15 after the market closed.
Icahn said he wants to meet with Herbalife's management
"regarding the business and strategic alternatives to enhance
shareholder value, such as a recapitalization or a going-private
The company said: "We welcome all parties who see the same
value in Herbalife that we do."
One short squeeze has already occurred, experts said.