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Herbalife Names Two Icahn Directors to Company Board

Thu, 04/25/2013 - 1:59pm
The Associated Press

Herbalife, maker of nutritional and weight loss supplements, said Thursday that two representatives of billionaire investor Carl Icahn will join its board of directors.

The company said Jonathan Christodoro and Keith Cozza were elected to serve two-year terms on the board at Herbalife's annual meeting. Investors also elected Leroy Barnes, Richard Bermingham and Jeffrey Dunn to three-year terms.

Under a previous agreement, Herbalife agreed to nominate two individuals chosen by Icahn, in return for him capping his stake in the company at 25 percent. Analysts and investors previously speculated that the activist investor might try to take Herbalife private.

Icahn's influence over Herbalife comes amid a public debate over the company's merits.

Rival investor Bill Ackman has publicly attacked Herbalife, saying its business model amounts to a pyramid scheme that generates money by recruiting new salespeople, rather than selling products. Icahn disagrees and has increased his stake in the company. In February, the dogfight boiled over into the public arena as Ackman and Icahn got in a shouting match on live television.

Herbalife has gone on the defensive against Ackman, disputing his characterization of the company and saying that Ackman wants to push the stock down for his own benefit.

Herbalife Ltd. shares rose 42 cents, or 1.13 percent, to $37.69 in midday trading.

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