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Hain Celestial chief sees 'big opportunities' for Herbalife

The viability of nutritional supplement company Herbalife has support from Long Island executive Irwin Simon, CEO of Melville-based organic product company Hain Celestial.

Debate over the stability of Herbalife as a company has cascaded business news headlines for the past month, fueled by the public feud between high-profile investors Bill Ackman and Carl Icahn -- who have taken opposite positions on Herbalife's stock.

Ackman has a short position worth over $1 billion on Herbalife stock, asserting the company is a pyramid scheme and that share prices will go down to zero. Icahn, on the other hand, revealed a 13 percent stake in the company last week and has called Ackamn's claims misguided.

On an appearance on the CNBC program CEO Summit early Wednesday, Simon said he agreed with Icahn's side of the debate: "Eating healthy is not a fad, not a trend, it’s gonna be a bigger part of life," he said. "There’s a lot of opportunity for weight loss . . . in Third World countries. And Mexico being one of their biggest markets right now. I think there’s big opportunities for Herbalife."

Tags: herballife , Irwin Simon , cnbc , video , Hain celestial

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