Herbalife ups ante in battle with Ackman
The nutritional supplements company registers 3 domain names that indicate it's ready to go on the offensive against the hedge fund manager.
Nutritional supplements company Herbalife (HLF) may be planning a counter-offensive against hedge fund manager Bill Ackman, whose Pershing Square Capital Management is betting against it with a significant short position.
Herbalife has bought three domain names that hint at its plans, reports the New York Post. Those domain names are "therealbillackman.com," "billackman.net" and "therealackman.net." So far, there aren't any websites associated with the domain names.
Herbalife has already been in an online battle of sorts with the hedge fund manager. That's because Ackman's paid search-engine advertisement for his site "factsaboutherbalife.com" is at the top of Google's (GOOG) rankings when one runs an "Herbalife" search.
Clicking on Ackman's paid ad takes readers to a website that features third-party links and videos about Herbalife, such as reports from CNBC. The site also prominently displays a definition of "pyramid scheme," a characterization from Ackman that Herbalife has been battling.
Ackman wasn't pleased with Herbalife's move.
"Herbalife shareholders should ask themselves what legitimate company would do this,” he told the Post.
Herbalife has also sparked battles between Ackman and two other investors, Carl Icahn and fellow hedge-fund manager Daniel Loeb.
Loeb countered Ackman's short stake by buying stock in the multi-level marketer, while on Friday Icahn and Ackman duked it out on live television, with Herbalife at the center of the battle of the billionaires.
Icahn said he didn't respect Ackman, calling him "the crybaby of the school yard," while Ackman said Icahn is "a guy who takes advantage of little people."
An Herbalife representative didn't respond to a request for comment, the Post notes.
The more basic "Billackman.com" domain name has been unavailable since 2007, when an Illinois man registered the name. He's asking $10,000 for the domain, but Ackman told the Post he's not interested in paying up for the rights to his own name.
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