Nutritional-supplement seller Herbalife said that KPMG informed the company that it has resigned as its auditor. Herbalife's shares were trading slightly lower after being halted for much of Tuesday morning.
Shares of Skechers were also halted in the morning, though it was unclear whether this was related to Herbalife. In a statement, KPMG confirmed that it was resigning from two clients, yet did not mention either by name.
KPMG said earlier that a senior partner based in Los Angeles provided inside information to an unnamed individual, who then used the information to engage in stock trades of key companies on the West Coast. According to the firm, the partner acted "with deliberate disregard for KPMG's long-standing culture of professionalism and integrity."
Herbalife said in a statement that KPMG found no problem with the company's financial statements, and was resigning only because the auditor saw its independence as impaired.
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For months, Herbalife has been at the center of a high-profile fight between two hedge fund titans, dubbed "the battle of the billionaires" by Wall Street watchers. Hedge fund manager Bill Ackman has publicly attacked Herbalife as a "pyramid scheme", while placing a $1 billion bet against its stock.
Meanwhile, activist financier Carl Icahn has championed Herbalife, buying its shares while pushing back forcefully against Ackman's claims.
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