Billionaire businessman jumps into the multilevel marketing scene

Herbalife, one of the top MLM companies, has recently been getting attention for investors' activities on Wall Street, and one more high-profile name has gotten involved in the international company.

Carl Icahn, the billionaire businessman and director of holding company Icahn Enterprises, ventured into the multilevel marketing industry by taking a more than 13 percent stake in Herbalife stock earlier this year. More recently, he increased that percentage to 15.55, Forbes reports, bringing him to own more than 16 million shares, or $657 million. Other investors, including Daniel Loeb, are also getting involved in the company.

Herbalife announced in February that as part of its initial agreement with Icahn – for 13.6 percent of Herbalife shares – it would expand its board of directors from nine to 11. This move allowed the addition of two members selected by Icahn-related entities and then approved by the company's Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee. 

The best MLM companies are those that reward sales teams for their hard work and efforts to expand their networks, while also giving back to the community. Herbalife, which was established in 1980, operates in more than 80 countries, according to its website. It works through the Herbalife Family Foundation to support nutrition programs for children and is a patron of athletic clubs and teams internationally.

In the announcement of Icahn's involvement with Herbalife, Icahn applauded Herbalife's profitability and results.

"We conducted considerable research on Herbalife and its business before making our investment in the company, and have great respect for its board and management team, and believe in the company's great potential," he said. "We expect our shareholder representatives to provide positive input into board decisions affecting the future of the company."

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