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Bill Ackman: Herbalife has already been shut down without even realizing it

Ackman fights back

Bill Ackman upped the ante in his ongoing dispute with Herbalife, saying Wednesday that the nutritional supplement company already has been shut down but hasn't acknowledged it.

Speaking on a call with investors, the head of Pershing Square Capital asserted that the agreement last week between Herbalife and the Federal Trade Commission was much more damning than it appeared.

"Herbalife actually has been shut down by the FTC, they just haven't realized it," he said.

And Ackman wasn't done there. He also accused the company of manipulating its stock price Friday after the agreement came down that saw Herbalife pay a $200 million fine and promise to reform its business practices.

The company rejected Ackman's assertion.

""After more than two years of working with the FTC, I think we understand the terms of the settlement agreement very well. We would not have settled unless we had the greatest confidence in our ability to comply with the agreement and grow our business and we believe this will be proven out over time," Alan Hoffman, executive vice president, global corporate affairs for Herbalife, said in a statement.

Ackman said he was maintaining his short position in Herbalife, which has been a money loser as the stock has surged more than 20 percent over the past year.

Other investors also are skeptical about the company. S3 Partners reported that traders who covered their shorts heading into the Friday decision have resumed their positions betting against the company.

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