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Bill Ackman Is Gearing Up for Another Campaign Against Herbalife

Herbalife CEO Michael Johnson and activist investor Bill AckmanHerbalife CEO Michael Johnson and activist investor Bill Ackman
Herbalife CEO Michael Johnson and activist investor Bill AckmanPhotograph by Michael Lewis for Fortune (left); Neil Wilder—Corbis Outline (right)

Bill Ackman is launching another assault on Herbalife (HLF), even as rumors that a settlement between the company and the U.S. Federal Trade Commission makes its way around Wall Street.

Pershing Square, headed by Ackman, is releasing a series of videos against Herbalife this week, as it continues its three-year-plus crusade against the nutritional supplement company. Ackman has already released two on the website,

The first two videos in the series attack Herbalife’s executives, including Chairman’s Club members Stephan Gratziani and Martin Ernst. The videos claims that Herbalife aggressively recruits new distributors in order to pad the earnings of the top 0.1%. The distributors at the bottom of the pyramid then “lose their savings.”

The video alleges that “99% of Herbalife distributors earn less than minimum wage from the company,” and “86% of distributors earn $0 from the company.”

The videos used footage dating as far back as 2005.

Ackman first revealed a short position on Herbalife worth $1 billion in December 2012, claiming that the company was running a pyramid scheme. Though in recent months, that bet, among others, has not done so well. Herbalife has risen 11.3% year to date, and took a boost after it said that an end to its multi-year-long probe by the FTC was in sight. The company noted that it could come in the form of a $200 million settlement. Since then, the street has been abound with rumors.


For Ackman to break even on his Herbalife short position, the hedge funder would have to see the stock to the low 30s. The stock is currently trading at $59.38. Additionally, Ackman is paying roughly $100 million a year to maintain his position, the hedge funder told Fortune‘s Roger Parloff.

“Herbalife claims that it has cleaned up its act in recent years. It hasn’t. These videos show that veteran distributors who have made misleading claims continue to have a prominent role at Herbalife,” Pershing Square wrote in a press release.