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Alternative Market Briefing

Update: Herbalife responds to hedge fund fight

Friday, January 11, 2013

Bailey McCann, Opalesque New York: As Opalesque reported yesterday, Herbalife, a supplement company supported by independent distributors which has recently been called a pyramid scheme by Pershing Square Capital founder Bill Ackman. Today, the company responded to his attacks. Herbalife held a meeting at the Four Seasons Hotel in Manhattan, with investors and analysts to discuss both Ackman's highly public short and Daniel Loeb's equally public investment.

The New York Times DealBook blog offered a live blog of the meeting this morning. According to that account, Herbalife COO, Richard Goudis, said that Ackman's presentation was intentionally misleading.

The meeting lasted 2.5 hours, and covered a range of topics. Firm principals covered the R&D behind Herbalife's products, actual prices per unit relative to the rest of the market for supplement products, and an academic presentation from Anne Coughlan, a professor at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management on multilevel marketing structures like Herbalife uses.

Shortly after the presentation, Ackman responded publicly saying that the company had distorted and "......................

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