Billionaire investor Carl Icahn is seeking authorization to up his stake in Herbalife Ltd. (HLF—NYSE) to 50 percent.
Shares in the nutrition company are trading slightly higher following Icahn’s comments, which were made late Tuesday at the Delivering Alpha conference hosted by CNBC and Institutional Investor. Icahn is a longtime supporter of Herbalife in its battle against short-seller Bill Ackman, an outspoken critic of the company whose claims prompted a Federal Trade Commission probe into Herbalife’s business practices.
In July, on the day a settlement was announced in the FTC case, Icahn said regulators had granted him permission to increase his Herbalife stake to as much as 35 percent, well below the 50 percent he is now contemplating. Onstage at Delivering Alpha, Icahn said he currently owns about 20 percent of Herbalife’s shares. The Icahn Enterprises investor also said he has not ruled out launching a tender offer to take the company private, stating that as a shareholder he thinks Herbalife would be “better off that way.”