Photo above: The Herbalife Ltd. logo is displayed outside of the company’s corporate headquarters in Torrance, Calif.
(Photographer: Patrick Fallon/Bloomberg)
Amid the swirl of opinions that follow every fluctuation in Herbalife stock, a rare piece of commentary from one of the company’s own executives appeared recently in the Los Angeles Daily News. Ibi Fleming, Senior Vice President and Managing Director of Herbalife North America, outlines the fundamentals of Herbalife’s business model and addresses some disparaging claims about the company.
Fleming offers a response to the Los Angeles Daily News Group’s recent Question of the Week, which solicited feedback on whether Herbalife is a predator or an economic lifeline. With a product-centric retail model and extensive consumer protections in place, Herbalife’s business opportunity is “part of the thriving micro-business community in the United States,” Fleming states. She also notes that the company, whose 300-person compliance department receives an average of just 1.6 complaints for every 1,000 Herbalife members, welcomes the opportunity to address the claims of any individual citing a bad experience with the company.
Last week, Herbalife’s board of directors authorized an increased share repurchase program from the previous $653 million to $1.5 billion. The company also announced a $1-billion sale of convertible bonds to finance the share buyback, with the remaining proceeds slated for “working capital and general corporate purposes, including, without limitation, the repurchase of outstanding common shares,” Herbalife stated. The company identified Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Credit Suisse, HSBC and Morgan Stanley as the investors in Herbalife’s convertible notes.