Billionaire investor Carl Icahn was lately in talks to sell his stake in nutritional supplement maker Herbalife (HLF) to a group that included hedge fund manager Bill Ackman, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Investment bank Jefferies Group has been on the hunt for about a month to find buyers for Icahn’s 18.3% stake in Herbalife, the Journal said, citing people familiar with the matter.
Ackman’s Pershing Square declined to comment. Jefferies and Herbalife were not immediately available for comment and Carl Icahn could not be immediately reached outside regular U.S. business hours.
Icahn and Ackman had placed opposing bets on Los Angeles-based Herbalife. Ackman for years has been betting against the company, accusing it of running a pyramid scheme.
The duo even became embroiled in a public war of words, with Icahn famously calling Ackman a “liar” and a “crybaby” in a CNBC interview in 2013. They have since made up.
Herbalife in mid-July agreed to pay $200 million and change the way it does business to avoid being labeled a pyramid scheme by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission.
Following the settlement, the company said its board had cleared the way for Icahn to boost his stake in the company to as much as 35%.