Carl Icahn is fattening up on Herbalife, gobbling up three more seats on the company's board.
The nutritional-products company announced Monday that it has agreed to nominate three more Icahn representatives to its board of directors, potentially giving the activist investor five members of Herbalife's 13-person board.
Two employees of Icahn Enterprises, Hunter C. Gary and Jesse A. Lynn, will be put up for election, as will James L. Nelson, an independent director of Icahn's company.
Gary and Lynn would replace two board members whose terms are expiring, Carole Black and Michael Levitt. Nelson would finish the term of Colombe M. Nicholas, who will resign from the board.
“This is a very positive agreement and we appreciate the Icahn Parties’ shared confidence in Herbalife’s continued success,” Michael O. Johnson, Herbalife chairman and chief executive, said in a statement.
Shareholders will vote on the board members at Herbalife's annual meeting on April 29. Icahn owns 17 million Herbalife shares, or about 16.8% of the company.
Herbalife shares rose strongly Monday morning, up $3.11, or 6.3%, to $52.65.
"We remain resolute in our commitment to the long term success of Herbalife," Icahn said. "We continue to have confidence in its board and management team, and believe in the company’s great potential."
Herbalife has come under repeated attack from hedge-fund manager Bill Ackman, who alleges the company operates a pyramid scheme. Herbalife's business practices are being investigated by the Federal Trade Commission.
Follow Walter Hamilton on Twitter @LATwalter