NEW YORK, Jan. 25, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Carl C. Icahn today released the following statement in response to yesterday's press release issued by Bill Ackman:
"In 2003 I helped Bill Ackman out of a jam he was in with a fund called Gotham Partners, by buying Gotham's stake in a company called Hallwood Partners.
"In our stock purchase agreement with Gotham they were entitled to an earnout equal to 50% of our profit on the Hallwood shares if we 'sold or otherwise transferred' those shares. This was to protect Bill from looking bad to his investors if we went out and flipped the stock to someone else.
"We never sold or transferred the Hallwood shares. Instead Hallwood was acquired in a merger transaction that we voted against.
"We did not believe that the agreement covered such a situation, based on cases in a number of states, and it was very clear from my negotiations with Bill that he was not to be paid under these circumstances. However Bill sued and was able to convince New York courts not to follow the law in other states.
"But I know, and I am positive that Bill also knows, that it was never our deal that we should pay Gotham in a situation like this. And if my written agreement was as clear as my negotiations with Bill Ackman, we would not have had to pay him.
"To get the record straight, I never asked Ackman to be my friend. Quite to the contrary, Ackman has stated to me on more than one occasion that it's a shame we are not friends because then he could have invested with me. But, even if we were friends, I would never have invested with him because I believe he takes inordinate risks. HLF I believe proves this point. As it has been pointed out HLF can turn out to be 'the mother of all short squeezes'. Selling short 20% of the shares of a company such as HLF with limited partners' money that can be withdrawn, in my opinion, leaves much to be questioned.
"Bill Ackman has recently stated 'Carl Icahn is a great investor.' I thank him but unfortunately I cannot return the compliment."
SOURCE Carl C. Icahn