Bill Ackman Says He's Spent $50 Million on Herbalife Battle

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Pershing Square Capital Management's Bill Ackman said on Monday he has spent $50 million to press a public relations battle against Herbalife (HLF), after the hedge fund staked an about $1 billion bet against the multi-level supplements seller and called it a pyramid scheme.

Ackman told Bloomberg TV he's spent $50 million of Pershing's limited partners' capital to research and publicize the fund's negative views on Herbalife. Those comments come ahead of a Tuesday presentation Ackman is holding that he said "will give the market sufficient information to shut the company down."

The hedge funder also indicated to Bloomberg TV his presentation, which will be made in Midtown Manhattan at 10 a.m. ET, may expose fraudulent activity at nutrition clubs run by the company's distributors.

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Herbalife disclosed earlier in 2014 it is being subjected to reviews by the Federal Trade Commission. In April, the Financial Times reported that the Federal Bureau of Investigations and the Department of Justice were also investigating the company, however, Herbalife has said it is not aware of any ongoing FBI or DoJ inquiry. The company also has vehemently rejected Ackman's assertions and indicated on Monday it will present counter-arguments to his newest presentation.

Spending is nothing new in the battle between Ackman and Herbalife. As TheStreet reported in January, Herbalife has spent nearly 10 times the money on lobbying in Washington than Pershing Square has. That is logical given the range of lobbying issues a near $5 billion revenue company like Herbalife may have. Pershing, by contrast, has focused its lobbying efforts exclusively on the  Herbalife campaign.

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