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Icahn Sells Remaining Stake in Herbalife

Activist investor Carl Icahn disclosed that he sold the rest of his holding in Herbalife Nutrition.

Activist investor Carl Icahn sold the last of his stake in health-supplement maker Herbalife Nutrition  (HLF) - Get Herbalife Nutrition Ltd. Report, according to regulatory filings.

Shares of the Los Angeles company closed up Thursday 4.53% to $49.63.

Icahn and his affiliated entities disclosed that he and Icahn Offshore, Icahn Capital, IPH, Icahn Enterprises Holdings, Icahn Enterprises GP "may be deemed to beneficially own, in the aggregate, zero shares of Herbalife Nutrition following sales that were transacted over the period of April 28 to May 6," the filing said.

Herbalife said in a statement that "Carl has been a supportive investor for many years, having based his significant position in our Company on extensive research and a thorough analysis of our business."  

"Having achieved his investment and activism goals, we always knew there would come a day when his involvement would come to an end," the company said. "We wish him well. "

Icahn began buying Herbalife shares in early 2013, according to The Wall Street Journal. 

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The move came shortly after rival activist Bill Ackman of Pershing Square Capital Management disclosed a $1 billion short position in the company, accusing it of being a pyramid scheme and claiming that its shares would go to zero.

In July 2016, the Federal Trade Commission forced Herbalife to change its practices, and reach a $200 million settlement to compensate consumers, saying they were deceived into thinking they could earn "substantial money" selling Herbalife products.

Icahn eventually accumulated roughly a quarter of Herbalife shares and earned seats on the company's board. Ackman exited in 2018.

In January, Icahn sold over half of his stake in Herbalife back to the company, but he maintained that the company's "products and business opportunity are needed now more than ever."

Herbalife said it would buy back $600 million of the company's shares owned by Icahn and his affiliates at $48.05 each.

Last August, Icahn said that his Icahn Enterprises  (IEP) - Get Icahn Enterprises L.P. Report sold about 14.7 million shares of Herbalife.

A short time later federal prosecutors in New York charged the health-supplement maker with bribing Chinese officials. Herbalife agreed to pay penalties of more than $123 million to resolve the charges.