In a phone interview on Bloomberg TV’s “Street Smart,” Carl Icahn told Bloomberg TV anchor Trish Regan that he doesn’t “like” or “respect” fellow fund manager Bill Ackman, criticizing the way Ackman publicized a $1 billion bet that shares of Herbalife Ltd. (HLF) would decline.
“You don’t go out and get a room full of people to badmouth the company…If you want to be in that business, why don’t you join the SEC?” Excerpts from the interview can be found below, courtesy of Bloomberg Television.
On whether Icahn has a long position in Herbalife:
“I stay away from commenting on positions that we have or we don’t have if they don’t have a 13D on file. I will duck that question and not say yes and not say no.”
On Herbalife, and whether Bill Ackman or Dan Loeb is right or wrong in their positions on the stock:
“Look, it’s no secret to the world and to Wall Street – and most guys on Wall Street I sort of like and I get along with – and it’s no secret I don’t like Ackman. I have no respect for him and I don’t like him and that’s not a secret. But that doesn’t mean that I’m going to go in and buy stock in a company necessarily just to get him. Frankly, I don’t like the way he did this anyway. If you’re short, you go short and hey, if it goes down you make money. You don’t go out and get a roomful of people to badmouth the company. If you want to be in that business, why don’t you go out and join the SEC?”
On short sellers:
“They shouldn’t take on the job of being a regulator. I don’t think it’s Ackman’s job to go in and say the SEC should be looking at this and I’m going to show you why it’s illegal. If it’s illegal, then go to the SEC and tell them it’s illegal. But don’t go try and make a profit on it.
“What I think is not all at all forthright — and he’s giving all the money he makes on charity – but is he giving all the money he makes for his limited partners to charity? Doesn’t that help him a great deal…if the stock goes down and his limited partners make a great profit and he becomes more famous and he gets more money in. So, he’s not doing it for charity.
“I wouldn’t even say this, but it’s no secret, I dislike the guy, I don’t respect him, I’ve done business with him and he wasn’t forthright…that’s my opinion…But the real thing is, I don’t think he did this in the right way.”