Pershing Square Capital Management CEO Bill Ackman appeared on Bloomberg Television on December 17 to discuss a new Herbalife video he’s obtained to back up his allegations that the nutrition and weight loss company is a pyramid scheme, the Wall Street Pit website said.
The hedge fund mogul told Stephanie Ruhle and Erik Schatzker that the “implosion” of Herbalife will likely happen in 2015 and the government is “closer” to intervening.
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“I think this will be a 2015 event – the implosion of the company. I think worst case, early 2016. What gives me confidence is that the company has $1.150 billion of debt that comes due in early March 2016. They are not going to be able to refinance that credit facility. They do not have hard assets to provide security. The banks who provided that facility provided it before the government investigations and all the regulations, ” he said.
A pyramid scheme is a business based around recruitment in which most of the profits come from a regular stream of people who lose money while a tiny minority at the top get rich.
Ackman said he’s not spoken with billionaire investor Carl Icahn about Herbalife recently. He said, “Unfortunately, I think he’s kind of stuck…I’d love to see him sell…I think he’s a stuckholder.”
McDonald’s stock rose the most in nine months after Ackman said, “If McDonald’s were run like Burger King, the stock would go up a lot.”
Ackman, a big philanthropist, was raised in an affluent Jewish family in Westchester County, New York.