Los Angeles Business Journal

Herbalife Hires Goldman Sachs After Bid

By Deborah Crowe Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Herbalife Ltd. has retained financial and legal advisers to help it review an acquisition proposal by private equity firm Whitney V LP the first acknowledgment the offer is being taken seriously, despite criticism it is too low.

The Los Angeles nutritional supplement company, which created a special board committee to review the proposal, has hired Goldman Sachs as its financial adviser and two Los Angeles law firms to serve as legal advisers: Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP will advise the company; Munger, Tolles & Olson LP will advise the special board committee.

The company received the offer Feb. 2 from Whitney, which owns about 27 percent of Herbalife's outstanding stock. Whitney, whose managing director Peter Castleman is the chairman of Herbalife, offered to buy Herbalife for $38 per share in cash, or a 15 percent premium to the share's closing price the day of the offer. Some industry analysts consider a fairer valuation of the company to be more than $40 a share.

Herbalife shares on Wednesday fell $1.31, or 3 percent, to close at $38.49 on the New York Stock Exchange.