Carl Icahn is used to being on the offensive, but this time, he’s the one facing an all-out assault.
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In a May 2 report, the famed short-seller Hindenburg Research targeted Icahn’s publicly traded conglomerate, Icahn Enterprises, alleging that the company is using a juicy but unsustainable dividend yield to lure retail investors into a “ponzi-like” operation.
“Icahn has been using money taken in from new investors to pay out dividends to old investors,” Hindenburg wrote while revealing it had taken a short position against his company’s stock.
Icahn Enterprises did not immediately respond to Fortune’s request for comment about Hindenburg’s allegations. But in a May 10 statement responding to Hindenburg’s report, Icahn pushed back with his typical bravado.
“Hindenburg Research, founded by Nathan Anderson, would be more aptly named Blitzkrieg Research given its tactics of wantonly destroying property and harming innocent civilians. Mr. Anderson’s modus operandi is to launch disinformation campaigns to distort companies’ images, damage their reputations and bleed the hard-earned savings of individual investors,” the billionaire wrote, promising to “fight back” against the allegations.
Icahn’s billionaire arch rival, Pershing Square Capital co-founder and CEO Bill Ackman, was quick to remark on the irony of the corporate raider, who is well known for his harsh criticism of executive mismanagement and corporate malfeasance, being accused of his own misdeeds. “There is a karmic quality to this short report that reinforces the notion of a circle of life and death. As such, it is a must read,” he wrote in a May 2 tweet.
Icahn has had a long-running feud with Ackman, which culminated in a 2013 CNBC interview where he called the Pershing Square Capital…