10-K 1 hlf-10k_20161231.htm 10-K hlf-10k_20161231.htm

 

 

UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C. 20549

 

Form 10-K

 

FOR ANNUAL AND TRANSITION REPORTS

PURSUANT TO SECTIONS 13 OR 15(d) OF THE

SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

(Mark One)

ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2016

TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

For the transition period from to

Commission file number: 1-32381

 

HERBALIFE LTD.

(Exact Name of Registrant as Specified in Its Charter)

 

 

Cayman Islands

 

98-0377871

(State or Other Jurisdiction of

Incorporation or Organization)

 

(I.R.S. Employer

Identification No.)

 

 

 

P.O. Box 309GT

Ugland House, South Church Street

Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

 

(Zip Code)

(Address of Principal Executive Offices)

 

 

(213) 745-0500

(Registrant’s telephone number, including area code)

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:

 

Title of Each Class 

 

Name of Each Exchange on Which Registered

Common Shares, par value $0.001 per share

 

New York Stock Exchange

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act:

None

 

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. Yes No

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act. Yes No

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant: (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. Yes No

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically and posted on its corporate Web site, if any, every Interactive Data File required to be submitted and posted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§ 232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit and post such files). Yes No

Indicate by check mark if disclosure of delinquent filers pursuant to Item 405 of Regulation S-K (§ 229,405 of this chapter) is not contained herein, and will not be contained, to the best of registrant’s knowledge, in definitive proxy or information statements incorporated by reference in Part III of this Form 10-K or any amendment to this Form 10-K.

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, or a smaller reporting company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer” and “smaller reporting company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act. (Check one):

 

Large accelerated filer

 

Accelerated filer

 

 

 

 

 

Non-accelerated filer

(Do not check if a smaller reporting company)

Smaller reporting company

Indicate by check mark whether registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act). Yes No

There were 93,084,675 common shares outstanding as of February 16, 2017. The aggregate market value of the Registrant’s common shares held by non-affiliates was approximately $1,802 million as of June 30, 2016, based upon the last reported sales price on the New York Stock Exchange on that date of $58.53.

DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE

Portions of the registrant’s Definitive Proxy Statement to be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission no later than 120 days after the end of the Registrant’s fiscal year ended December 31, 2016, are incorporated by reference in Part III of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

 

 


 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

 

 

 

Page

 

PART I

 

 

 

 

 

Item 1.

 

Business

4

Item 1a.

 

Risk Factors

17

Item 1b.

 

Unresolved Staff Comments

33

Item 2.

 

Properties

33

Item 3.

 

Legal Proceedings

34

Item 4.

 

Mine Safety Disclosure

34

 

 

 

 

PART II

 

 

 

 

 

Item 5.

 

Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases Of Equity Securities

35

Item 6.

 

Selected Financial Data

38

Item 7.

 

Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations

40

Item 7a.

 

Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk

68

Item 8.

 

Financial Statements and Supplementary Data

70

Item 9.

 

Changes In and Disagreements With Accountants On Accounting and Financial Disclosure

70

Item 9a.

 

Controls and Procedures

70

Item 9b.

 

Other Information

71

 

 

 

 

PART III

 

 

 

 

 

Item 10.

 

Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance

71

Item 11.

 

Executive Compensation

71

Item 12.

 

Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Stockholder Matters

71

Item 13.

 

Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence

71

Item 14.

 

Principal Accountant Fees and Services

71

 

 

 

 

PART IV

 

 

 

 

 

Item 15.

 

Exhibits and Financial Statement Schedules

72

Item 16.

 

Form 10-K Summary

116

Signatures

117

 

 

 

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FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

This document contains “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. All statements other than statements of historical fact are “forward-looking statements” for purposes of federal and state securities laws, including any projections of earnings, revenue or other financial items; any statements of the plans, strategies and objectives of management for future operations; any statements concerning proposed new services or developments; any statements regarding future economic conditions or performance; any statements of belief; and any statements of assumptions underlying any of the foregoing. Forward-looking statements may include the words “may,” “will,” “estimate,” “intend,” “continue,” “believe,” “expect” or “anticipate” and any other similar words.

Although we believe that the expectations reflected in any of our forward-looking statements are reasonable, actual results could differ materially from those projected or assumed in any of our forward-looking statements. Our future financial condition and results of operations, as well as any forward-looking statements, are subject to change and to inherent risks and uncertainties, such as those disclosed or incorporated by reference in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Important factors that could cause our actual results, performance and achievements, or industry results to differ materially from estimates or projections contained in our forward-looking statements include, among others, the following:

 

our relationship with, and our ability to influence the actions of, our Members;

 

improper action by our employees or Members in violation of applicable law;

 

adverse publicity associated with our products or network marketing organization, including our ability to comfort the marketplace and regulators regarding our compliance with applicable laws;

 

changing consumer preferences and demands;

 

the competitive nature of our business;

 

regulatory matters governing our products, including potential governmental or regulatory actions concerning the safety or efficacy of our products and network marketing program, including the direct selling market in which we operate;

 

legal challenges to our network marketing program;

 

the consent order entered into with the FTC, the effects thereof and any failure to comply therewith;

 

risks associated with operating internationally and the effect of economic factors, including foreign exchange, inflation, disruptions or conflicts with our third party importers, pricing and currency devaluation risks, especially in countries such as Venezuela;

 

uncertainties relating to interpretation and enforcement of legislation in China governing direct selling;

 

our inability to obtain the necessary licenses to expand our direct selling business in China;

 

adverse changes in the Chinese economy;

 

our dependence on increased penetration of existing markets;

 

contractual limitations on our ability to expand our business;

 

our reliance on our information technology infrastructure and outside manufacturers;

 

the sufficiency of trademarks and other intellectual property rights;

 

product concentration;

 

our reliance upon, or the loss or departure of any member of, our senior management team which could negatively impact our Member relations and operating results;

 

U.S. and foreign laws and regulations applicable to our international operations;

 

uncertainties relating to the United Kingdom’s vote to exit from the European Union;

 

restrictions imposed by covenants in our credit facility;

 

uncertainties relating to the application of transfer pricing, duties, value added taxes, and other tax regulations, and changes thereto;

 

changes in tax laws, treaties or regulations, or their interpretation;

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taxation relating to our Members;

 

product liability claims;

 

our incorporation under the laws of the Cayman Islands;

 

whether we will purchase any of our shares in the open markets or otherwise; and

 

share price volatility related to, among other things, speculative trading and certain traders shorting our common shares.

Additional factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from our forward-looking statements are set forth in this Annual Report on Form 10-K, including under the heading “Risk Factors,” “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” and in our Consolidated Financial Statements and the related Notes.

Forward-looking statements in this Annual Report on Form 10-K speak only as of the date hereof, and forward-looking statements in documents attached that are incorporated by reference speak only as of the date of those documents. We do not undertake any obligation to update or release any revisions to any forward-looking statement or to report any events or circumstances after the date hereof or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events, except as required by law.

The Company

“We,” “our,” “us,” “Company” and “Herbalife” refer to Herbalife Ltd., a Cayman Islands exempt limited liability company, and its subsidiaries. Herbalife Ltd. is a holding company, with substantially all of its assets consisting of the capital stock of its direct and indirectly-owned subsidiaries.

PART I

Item 1.

BUSINESS

GENERAL

We are a global nutrition company founded in 1980 that develops and sells weight management, healthy meals and snacks, sports and fitness, energy and targeted nutritional products as well as personal care products. As of December 31, 2016, we sold our products in 94 countries. We believe the enhanced consumer awareness and the demand for our products due to the global obesity epidemic coupled with the effectiveness of network marketing have been the primary reasons for our success throughout our 37-year operating history.

We believe that direct-selling is ideally suited to marketing our products because sales of weight management, targeted nutrition, energy, sports & fitness, and outer nutrition products are strengthened by ongoing personal contact and support, coaching and education between Members and their customers towards a healthy and active lifestyle.

PRODUCT OVERVIEW

For 37 years, our science-based products have helped Members and their customers from around the world lose weight, improve their health and experience life-changing results. As of December 31, 2016, for the product categories weight management, targeted nutrition, energy, sports & fitness, and outer nutrition, we marketed and sold approximately 140 products encompassing over 4,700 SKUs globally. Our products are often sold as part of a program, and therefore our portfolio is comprised of a series of related products designed to simplify weight management and nutrition for our Members and their customers. We categorize our products into five groups: weight management, targeted nutrition, energy, sports & fitness, outer nutrition, and literature, promotional and other. For 2016, 2015 and 2014, our Formula 1 Healthy Meal, our best-selling product line, approximated 30% of our net sales.

4


 

The following table summarizes our products by product category.

 

 

 

Percent of Net Sales

 

 

 

 

 

Product Category

 

2016

 

 

2015

 

 

2014

 

 

Description

 

Representative Products

Weight Management

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

63.8%

 

 

 

64.1%

 

 

 

64.1%

 

 

Meal replacement, protein

shakes, drink mixes, weight loss

enhancers and healthy snacks

 

Formula 1 Healthy Meal,

Herbal Tea Concentrate,

Protein Drink Mix,

Personalized Protein Powder,

Total Control®, Prolessa

Duo and Protein Bars

Targeted Nutrition

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

23.6%

 

 

 

22.7%

 

 

 

22.3%

 

 

Dietary and nutritional

supplements containing quality

herbs, vitamins, minerals and

other natural ingredients

 

Aloe Concentrate, Niteworks®,

Garden 7® phytonutrient

supplement, Best Defense® for

improved immune system,

COQ10 Plus

Energy, Sports &

Fitness

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6.1%

 

 

 

5.6%

 

 

 

5.3%

 

 

Products that support a healthy

active lifestyle

 

Herbalife24 product line,

Liftoff® energy drink, H3O

hydration drink

Outer Nutrition

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2.4%

 

 

 

3.0%

 

 

 

3.6%

 

 

Facial skin care, body care, and

hair care

 

Herbalife SKIN line, Skin

Activator® anti-aging line,

Herbal Aloe Bath and Body

Careline, NouriFusion®

multivitamin skin care line,

Radiant C antioxidant skin

care line

Literature,

Promotional and Other

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4.1%

 

 

 

4.6%

 

 

 

4.7%

 

 

Start-up kits, sales tools, and

educational materials

 

International Business Packs,

BizWorks

 

PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT & INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY

We are committed to providing the highest-quality, science-based products to help our consumers achieve what we refer to as a “healthy, active lifestyle” in the areas of weight management; targeted nutrition (including everyday wellness and healthy aging); energy, sports & fitness; and outer nutrition. We rely on the scientific contributions from members of our Nutrition Advisory Board, along with our in-house scientific team, to continually upgrade or introduce new products as new scientific studies become available and accepted by regulatory authorities around the world. We also utilize the expertise of several international universities and key ingredient suppliers to review, evaluate and formulate new product ideas. Once a particular market opportunity has been identified, our scientists along with our marketing and sales teams work closely with Member leadership to successfully develop and launch the product. We aim to have at least one major product launch each year, timed around our major regional Member education and training events. These launches generally target specific product categories and markets we deem strategic to our business.

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Marketing foods on the basis of sound science means using ingredients that have been well studied and discussed in background scientific literature. Use of these ingredients for their well-established purposes is by definition not novel, and for that reason, most food uses of these ingredients are not subject to patent protection. Notwithstanding the absence of patent protection, we do own proprietary formulations for substantially all of our weight management products and dietary and nutritional supplements. We take care in protecting the intellectual property rights of our proprietary formulas by restricting access to our formulas within the Company to those persons or departments that require access to them to perform their functions, and by requiring our finished goods-suppliers and consultants to execute supply and non-disclosure agreements that seek to contractually protect our intellectual property rights. Disclosure of these formulas, in redacted form, is also necessary to obtain sanitary registrations in many countries. We also make efforts to protect some unique formulations under patent law. We strive to protect all new product developments as the confidential trade secrets of the Company and its inventor employees.

We use the umbrella trademarks Herbalife® and the Tri-Leaf design worldwide, and protect several other trademarks and trade names related to our products and operations, such as Niteworks® and Liftoff®. Our trademark registrations are issued through the United States Patent and Trademark Office, or USPTO, and comparable agencies in the foreign countries. As of December 31, 2016, we had over 1,800 trademark registrations worldwide. We consider our trademarks and trade names to be an important factor in our business.

GEOGRAPHIC PRESENCE

As of December 31, 2016, we conducted business in 94 countries throughout the world. The top ten countries worldwide represented approximately 72.9%, 74.3%, and 73.1% of our net sales in 2016, 2015, and 2014, respectively. In the countries where we conduct business, we typically maintain a physical presence and provide sales, marketing, call center, logistics and distribution services. Globally our products can be accessed at over 1,600 locations. We distribute our products through our distribution and sales centers and certain retail partners.

Our operating segments are based on geographical operations in six regions: North America, Mexico, South & Central America, EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa), Asia Pacific and China. The following table shows net sales by geographic region.

 

 

 

Net Sales

 

 

 

 

 

 

Number of

 

 

 

Year Ended December 31,

 

 

Percent of

 

 

Countries

 

Geographic Region

 

2016

 

 

2015

 

 

2014

 

 

Total Net Sales

2016

 

 

December 31

2016

 

 

 

(In millions)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

North America

 

$

955.7

 

 

$

879.5

 

 

$

926.8

 

 

 

21.2

%

 

 

5

 

Mexico

 

 

446.6

 

 

 

479.9

 

 

 

567.9

 

 

 

10.0

%

 

 

1

 

South & Central America

 

 

488.7

 

 

 

569.7

 

 

 

826.4

 

 

 

10.9

%

 

 

17

 

EMEA

 

 

815.6

 

 

 

755.1

 

 

 

843.1

 

 

 

18.2

%

 

 

55

 

Asia Pacific

 

 

913.0

 

 

 

938.6

 

 

 

1,130.1

 

 

 

20.3

%

 

 

15

 

China

 

 

868.8

 

 

 

846.2

 

 

 

664.3

 

 

 

19.4

%

 

 

1

 

Worldwide

 

$

4,488.4

 

 

$

4,469.0

 

 

$

4,958.6

 

 

 

100.0

%

 

 

94

 

 

For financial data by segment see Note 10, Segment Information, to the Consolidated Financial Statements.

MANUFACTURING, WAREHOUSING AND DISTRIBUTION

Our objective is to provide the highest quality products to our Members and their customers. We seek to accomplish this goal through execution of our “seed to feed” strategy that includes significant investments in quality assurance, scientific personnel, product testing, and increasing the amount of self-manufacturing of our top products. Our seed to feed strategy is rooted in using quality ingredients from traceable sources coupled with the vertical manufacturing of our most popular products. For our botanical products, our seed to feed strategy also includes self-manufacturing some of our teas and herbal ingredients. Our procurement activities for many botanicals now stretch back to the farms and will include the complete self-processing of teas and botanicals into finished raw materials.

The foundation for high quality products is the quality of the ingredients. Ingredients are sourced from companies that are large and reputable suppliers in their respective field. For example, soy, our number one ingredient, is sourced from DuPont (formerly Solae) and ADM. Our vitamins, minerals and other key ingredients come from companies such as DSM (formerly Roche Vitamins) and BASF. Other key suppliers include Tate & Lyle, DuPont (formerly Danisco), Kyowa Hakko, and Naturex. In addition to our own modern quality processes, sourcing from these suppliers also provides integrity to our ingredients by utilizing similar quality processes, equipment, expertise and traceability provided by these leading ingredients companies.

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The next key component of our seed to feed strategy involves the high quality manufacturing of these ingredients into finished products, including vertical manufacturing. In addition to self-manufacturing, we purchase products from third-party manufacturers which account for a significant amount of our product purchases. During 2016, we purchased approximately 23% of our products from our top three third-party manufacturers. We work closely with our third-party manufacturers to ensure high quality products are produced and tested through a vigorous quality control process. Our current strategy is to continue expanding our self-manufacturing. We accelerated this initiative with the 2009 acquisition of Micelle Labs in Lake Forest, California and renovating the facility into a high-output, high-quality powder and liquid manufacturer. We call this facility the Herbalife Innovation and Manufacturing Facility (or “HIM”) Lake Forest. Also, we began production in May of 2014 at the HIM Winston-Salem facility. This is the Company’s largest manufacturing facility, at 800,000 square feet and produces powders, liquids and teas and has significant expansion opportunities. We have taken similar steps to support our China market, with our HIM Suzhou facility which began operation in 1999. In 2016 we completed renovations and equipment installations, and began operations in our HIM Nanjing, China facility.  This has more than doubled our available finished product manufacturing capacity for the China market, and includes significant space for future expansion. Together, these facilities produce approximately 60%-65% of our inner nutrition products sold worldwide. In our U.S. Company-owned facilities, which produce for the U.S. and most of our international markets, we operate and test to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, or FDA’s strict dietary supplement current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMPs), even though many of the products being manufactured are classified as food products that are generally subject to less stringent manufacturing standards. For those products not manufactured at HIM facilities, we combine four elements to ensure quality products: the same selectivity and assurance in ingredients as noted above; use of reputable, cGMP-compliant, quality-minded manufacturing partners; a significant supplier qualification and annual audit program; and significant product quality testing.

In addition to ensuring the highest quality ingredients and building the quality into the finished products, we test our incoming raw materials for compliance to potency, identity and adherence to strict specifications. We also analyze our finished products for label claim and microbiological purity thereby verifying product safety and shelf life in the market. For our self-manufactured products, we do substantially all of our testing in-house at our modern quality control laboratories in the U.S. and China. We have major quality control labs in Southern California, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Suzhou, China and our Worldwide Quality Center of Excellence in Changsha, China which tests products made at non-HIM facilities, even though they are already tested at audited contract manufacturer labs or third party labs. All HIM quality control labs contain modern analytical equipment and are backed by the expertise in testing and methods development of our scientists. We employ over 500 professionals performing science or technical related functions, which includes product development, quality control, and scientific and regulatory affairs around the world.

The final part of our seed to feed strategy is delivering the high-quality product to our Members and their customers. As the shift in consumption patterns continues to reflect an increasing daily consumption focus, our strategy is to provide more product access points closer to our Members and their customers. We operate distribution points ranging from “hub” distribution centers, or DCs, in Los Angeles, Memphis, and Venray, Netherlands, to mid-size distribution centers in major countries, to small pickup locations spread throughout the world. In addition to these Company-run distribution points, Herbalife partners with retail locations to provide Member pickup points in areas which are not well serviced from Herbalife-run distribution points. In aggregate, our Company-run distribution points and partner retail locations represent over 1,600 locations around the world. As many of our products can be temperature sensitive, we monitor our DCs for temperature and humidity and occasionally will use shipping tags which monitor these parameters on certain shipment lanes and provide information to help make adjustments to shipping mode or packaging components to ensure the quality of the product being delivered to a Herbalife Distribution Center.

COMPETITION

The categories of weight management, targeted nutrition, energy, sports & fitness, and outer nutrition products are very competitive in many channels including those of direct selling, the internet, in specialty retailers and the discounted channels of food, drug and mass merchandise. Herbalife has differentiated itself from the peer group through our Member focus on the consultative sales process through product education and the frequent and sometimes daily contact and support that many Members have with their customers. From a competitive stand point, there are many providers and sales outlets of weight management products including quick-service restaurants and specialty retailers, but we believe that none have effectively combined the product, personal coaching and education and the product access provided by our Members through their daily consumption business methods such as Nutrition Clubs, Weight Loss Challenges or Fit Camps.

We are subject to competition for the recruitment of Members from other network marketing organizations, including those that market weight management, targeted nutrition, energy, sports & fitness, and outer nutrition products, as well as other types of products which are sold through direct selling. Our ability to remain competitive depends on having relevant products that meet consumer needs, a rewarding compensation plan, enhanced education and tools, and a financially viable company.

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OUR COMPETITIVE STRENGTHS

As a global nutrition company, we believe that the direct selling channel is the most effective way to sell our products given the need for consumer education about nutrition products and the high touch and personalized service for those customers on a weight loss or weight management program. We believe that the direct-selling channel is ideally suited to marketing our products because sales of weight management, targeted nutrition, energy, sports & fitness, and outer nutrition products are strengthened by ongoing personal contact, coaching and education between Members and their customers. This frequent, personal contact can enhance consumers’ nutritional and health education as well as motivate consumers to begin and maintain an active lifestyle through wellness and weight management programs. In addition, our Members consume our products themselves, and therefore can provide first-hand testimonials of the effectiveness of our products to their customers. This personal product experience of our Members can serve as a powerful sales tool.

Our business model enables us to grow our business with moderate investment in our infrastructure and fixed costs. We incur no direct incremental cost to add a new Member in our existing markets, and our Member compensation varies directly with product sales. In addition, our Members bear the majority of our consumer marketing expenses, and sales leaders sponsor and coordinate a large share of Member recruiting, meeting and training initiatives. Furthermore, we can readily increase production and distribution of our products as a result of having our own manufacturing facilities and numerous third party manufacturing relationships, as well as our global footprint of in-house and third party distribution centers.

Our objective is sustainable growth in the sales of our products to our Members and their customers by increasing the retailing productivity, retention and recruitment of our Member base through the following competitive strengths.

Member Base

We have Members who primarily join for a discount on products that they consume and other Members who also choose to resell our products or build a sales organization. As of December 31, 2016, we had approximately 4.0 million Members, which include approximately 0.3 million China sales representatives, sales officers, and independent service providers.

People become Herbalife Members for a number of reasons. Many first start out as product consumers who want to lose weight and improve their nutrition. Some later join simply to receive a wholesale price on products they and their families can consume and enjoy. Some join to earn part-time income, wanting to give direct sales a try, whereas others are drawn to Herbalife because they can be their own boss and can earn rewards based on their own skills and hard work. In addition to discounted prices, Members can earn profit from several sources. First, Members may earn profits by purchasing our products at wholesale prices, discounted depending on the Member’s level within our Marketing Plan, and reselling those products at prices they establish for themselves. Second, Members who sponsor other Members and establish, maintain, coach and train their own sales organizations may earn commissions and bonuses based upon their organization’s production.

We are party to an agreement with our Members that prohibits us from selling our products through any distribution channel other than our network of independent Members, unless otherwise required by law.

Members may sponsor other Members in an attempt to build a sales organization, whether or not they have attained any particular level in our Marketing Plan. Many Members have not sponsored another Member. These “single level” Members are generally considered discount buyers or small retailers. A small number of these single-level Members have attained the sales leader level.

Currently, approximately 636,000 of our Members have attained the level of “sales leader”, of which approximately 573,000 have attained the level of “supervisor” in the 93 countries where we use our worldwide Marketing Plan and 63,000 sales officers and independent service providers operating under our China Marketing Plan. Collectively, we refer to this group as “sales leaders.”

In China, while direct selling is permitted, multi-level marketing is not. As a result, our business model in China differs from that used in other countries. In China, where permitted by law, we sell our products through our Members who are independent contractors. However, Members in China are categorized differently than those in other countries. Chinese citizens who apply and become Members are referred to as “Sales Representatives.” Sales Representatives receive scaled rebates based on the volume of products they purchase. Sales Representatives who reach certain volume thresholds and meet certain performance criteria are eligible to apply to provide marketing, sales and support services. Once their application is accepted, they are referred to as “Service Providers.” Service Providers are independent business entities that are eligible to receive compensation from Herbalife for the marketing, sales and support services they provide so long as they satisfy certain conditions, including procuring the requisite business licenses and having a physical business location. Sales Representatives who are in the process of applying to become Service Providers hold the title of “Sales Officers.”

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In the U.S., we are in the process of transitioning to a structural segmentation of our Member base into “preferred members” - which are simply consumers who only wish to purchase product for their own household use, or “distributors” - which are Members who also wish to resell some products or build a sales organization.

The segmentation of existing members in the U.S. began in October 2016 when we initiated the process of allowing existing Members to affirmatively elect to be classified as preferred members. Those existing Members in the U.S. not electing to be a preferred member will be classified as distributors. Additionally, beginning in January 2017, we initiated a process for all U.S. new members to elect to be either a preferred member or a distributor when they initially sign-up.

Also beginning May 2017, the Company will compensate distributors based on U.S. retail sales, which include purchases by preferred members, purchases by a distributor for their personal consumption within allowable limits and sales of product by a distributor to their customers.

Geographic Diversification

We have expanded our network marketing organization into 94 countries as of December 31, 2016. While sales within our local markets may fluctuate due to economic, market and regulatory conditions, competitive pressures, political and social instability or for Company-specific reasons, we believe that our geographic diversity mitigates our exposure to any one particular market.

Our Science and our Products

We are committed to providing our Members with high-quality, science-based products to help them increase consumption and retail our products. We believe this can be best accomplished in part by introducing new products and by upgrading, reformulating and repackaging existing product lines. Our internal team of scientists and product developers collaborate with both our Nutrition Advisory Board and key ingredient suppliers to formulate, review and evaluate new product ideas. Once a particular market opportunity has been identified, our scientists along with our marketing and sales teams work closely with Member leadership to successfully develop and launch the product.

We believe our focus on nutrition and botanical science and our efforts at combining our internal efforts with the scientific expertise of outside resources that include our ingredient suppliers, major universities, as well as our Nutrition Advisory Board have resulted in product differentiation that has given our Members and consumers increased confidence in our products. We continue to globalize our R&D efforts to better reflect the international nature of the Company by operating R&D centers in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Shanghai, China and Bangalore, India in addition to our main R&D center in Torrance, California.

The Company continues to increase its investments in the areas of science and other technical functions including: research and development associated with creating new product formulations, clinical studies of existing products or products in development, technical operations to improve current product formulations, quality assurance and quality control to establish the appropriate quality systems, controls and standards as well as rigorous ingredient and product testing to ensure compliance with regulatory requirements, as well as in the areas of regulatory and scientific affairs. Globally we spent approximately $72 million in 2016 on these activities, excluding any royalty fees associated with our products, which included approximately $3.0 million of research and development spending as defined by U.S. generally accepted accounting principles.

In 2010, we launched the Herbalife Nutrition Institute. The Institute is an informational resource dedicated to promoting excellence in the field of nutrition. The Institute’s website is our primary communication vehicle, and an educational resource for the general public, government agencies, the scientific community, and our Members, about good nutrition and basic health. Its mission is to encourage and support research and education on the relationship between good health, balanced nutrition and a healthy active lifestyle. In addition to providing research and education on the website and through sponsored conferences and symposia, the Institute has associations with major nutrition science organizations.

The Company’s Nutrition Advisory Board and Dieticians Advisory Board are comprised of leading experts around the world in the fields of nutrition and health who educate our Members on the principles of nutrition, physical activity, diet, and healthy lifestyle.

Members of our Nutrition Advisory Board, Dieticians Advisory Board, and the editorial board of the Herbalife Nutrition Institute are affiliated with Herbalife as individuals and not as representatives of their respective universities.

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OUR STRATEGIES

Herbalife works closely with its Members to improve the sustainability of the business they have created to market our products to consumers. These relationships allow us to identify and test successful marketing efforts and programs developed by one or more Members and disseminate those techniques to other Members.

As an example of the effectiveness of managing our Member relationship, in or before 2004, Members in Mexico developed marketing techniques that improved both the affordability and effectiveness of our weight loss products through the creation of businesses that became known as “Nutrition Clubs”. Rather than buying several retail products, these businesses allow consumers to purchase and consume our products each day (a Member marketing technique we refer to as “daily consumption”), while continuing to benefit from the support and interaction with a Member as well as socializing with other customers. Other programs to drive daily consumption, whether for weight management or for improved physical fitness, include Member conducted weight loss contests, or Weight Loss Challenges, and Member led fitness programs, or Fit Camps. We refer to successful Member marketing techniques that we disseminate throughout our Member network, such as Nutrition Clubs, Weight Loss Challenges and Fit Camps as Distributor Methods of Operations, or DMOs.

Our strategies to grow our business center on our relationships with our Members and their relationships with consumers. These strategies include:

Deliver Effective Products that are Scientifically Validated

Our product strategy is focused on providing high-quality, science-based products that can support a healthy active lifestyle for Members and their customers in the areas of weight management; targeted nutrition (including everyday wellness and healthy aging); energy, sports & fitness; and outer nutrition. We rely on the scientific contributions from members of our Nutrition Advisory Board, along with our in-house scientific team, to continually upgrade or introduce new products as new scientific studies become available and accepted by regulatory authorities around the world. Additionally, to support our daily consumption initiatives, our product strategy includes projects such as seasonal flavors of our meal replacement shake, new flavors of top selling products and various package sizes and products that can be consumed hot, such as our savory shakes and soups. We aim to have at least one major product launch each year, timed around our major regional Member education and training events. These launches generally target specific product categories and markets we deem strategic to our business.

Improve the Sustainability of Members’ Businesses

Combined with our efforts to improve the effectiveness of our Members’ marketing strategies is our strategy to improve the sustainability of our Members’ businesses through the evolution of our Marketing Plan.

Historically, qualifying for commissions and/or bonuses in our Marketing Plan required the purchase by the qualifying Member and their downline of products representing 4,000 Volume Points in a single month or 2,500 Volume Points in each of two consecutive months. In 2009, we enhanced our Marketing Plan to enable Members to qualify for commissions and/or bonuses by acquiring 5,000 Volume Points over the course of twelve months rather than one or two months, enabling our Members interested in trying direct selling to do so on a more gradual basis. During 2014, we simplified our qualification criteria. To attain sales leader status, a Member generally must be responsible for sales of products representing an accumulation of at least 4,000 Volume Points in any consecutive twelve month period. We believe this simplified and gradual approach is important to the success and retention of new sales leaders and benefit the business long term as it allows new Members to get product and customer experience, improved training and additional education about Herbalife products, daily consumption based DMOs and the business opportunity prior to becoming a sales leader.

As a leading direct seller, we also endeavor to foster our Members to fairly and honestly market both our products and the business opportunity as part of being an Herbalife Member.

Improve Members’ Skills through Training

We believe that personal and professional development are key to our Members’ success and therefore we and our sales leaders have meetings and events to support this important objective. We and our Member leadership conduct training sessions on local, regional and global levels attended by thousands of Members to provide updates on product education, sales and marketing training, and instruction on available tools. These events are opportunities to showcase and disseminate our Members’ evolving best marketing practices from around the world such as Nutrition Clubs, Weight Loss Challenges, Fit Camps and other business methods, and to introduce new or upgraded products. A variety of training and development tools are also available through online and mobile platforms.

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Increase Brand Awareness

To increase our brand awareness, we and our Members have entered into numerous marketing alliances around the world. Herbalife sponsorships of and partnerships with featured athletes, teams and events promote brand awareness, the use of Herbalife products, and “Better living through nutrition.” We continue to build brand awareness and work towards becoming the most trusted brand in nutrition. We also work to leverage the power of our Member base as a marketing and brand-building tool. We maintain a brand style guide and brand asset library so that our Members have access to the Herbalife brand logo and marketing materials for use in their marketing efforts.

Improve Product Access

As adoption of daily consumption methods continue to expand, we have identified a number of methods and approaches that better support Members by providing access points closer to where they do business and by improving product delivery efficiency through our distribution channels. Specific methods vary by markets, considering local Member needs as well as infrastructure and available resources. We continue to expand the number of Sales Centers, smaller pick up locations (including third party collection points), brand experience centers and automated sales centers. This expansion is based on the needs of our Members and the growth of the business primarily from deeper penetration into existing markets. For example, we now have distribution agreements with multiple retailers. We believe that by leveraging the retailer’s distribution system we are providing our Members with easier product access. We will continue to evaluate the need to increase the number of product access points. Many Members today focus on the use of technology to support their businesses. With the increased activity towards our online and mobile tools, we have enhanced our product access and distribution network to support higher volumes of online or mobile orders which result in Members and their customers selecting home or business delivery options. We continue to see online or mobile ordering activity increase in many established markets.

Leverage Our Infrastructure

We continue to invest in our technology infrastructure in order to maintain, protect, and enhance existing systems and develop new systems to keep pace with continuing changes in technology, evolving industry and regulatory standards, emerging data security risks, and changing user patterns and preferences.

We leverage an Oracle business suite platform to support our business operations, improve productivity and support our strategic initiatives. In addition, we also employ information technology systems to support Members and their increasing demand to be more connected to Herbalife, their business and their consumers. These systems include our Internet-based marketing and Member services platform with tools such as BizWorks, MyHerbalife, GoHerbalife, iChange, and Herbalife Mobile. We continue to invest in business intelligence tools to enable better analysis of our business and to identify opportunities for growth. We will continue to build on these platforms so that we can take advantage of the rapid development of technology around the globe.

OUR NETWORK MARKETING PROGRAM

General

Our products are sold or distributed through a global direct selling business model.  Many individuals become part of our direct selling network simply to buy products at a discount directly from us for their own consumption.  Others choose to also retail and distribute products that they purchase from us. Finally, some individuals choose to also build a direct sales force and earn compensation (which could include commissions, royalty overrides and production bonuses) based on the activity of their sales organizations, as well as an annual bonus that is based on several additional factors. In China, due to local regulations, we sell our products to and through independent service providers, sales representatives, and sales officers to customers and preferred customers, as well as through Company-operated retail stores when necessary.

On July 18, 2002, we entered into an agreement with our Members that provides that we will continue to distribute Herbalife products exclusively to and through our Members and that, other than changes required by applicable law or necessary in our reasonable business judgment to account for specific local market or currency conditions to achieve a reasonable profit on operations, we will not make any material changes to certain aspects of our Marketing Plan that are adverse to our Members without the support of our Member leadership. Specifically, any such changes would require the approval of at least 51% of our Members then at the level of President’s Team earning at the production bonus level of 6% who vote, provided that at least 50% of those Members entitled to vote do in fact vote. We initiate these types of changes based on the assessment of what will be best for the Company and its Members and then submit such changes for the requisite vote. We believe that this agreement has strengthened our relationship with our existing Members, improved our ability to recruit new Members and generally increased the long-term stability of our business.

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Structure

To become a Member in most markets, a person must be sponsored by an existing Member and must purchase an Herbalife Member Pack, or HMP. The HMP is a Member kit available in local languages which typically includes product samples, a handy tote, booklets describing the Company, our compensation plan and rules of Member conduct, various training and promotional materials, Member applications and a product catalog. The price of an HMP varies by market and provides a low cost entry for incoming Members. HMPs do not generate any Member compensation and are not used for Member qualifications or recognition purposes under the Company’s Marketing Plan.

Volume Points are point values assigned to each of our products for use by the Company to determine a Member’s sales achievement level. We assign a Volume Point value to a product when it is first introduced into a market and the value is unaffected by subsequent exchange rate and price changes. The specific number of Volume Points assigned to a product, generally consistent across all markets, is based on a Volume Point to suggested retail price ratio for similar products in the market.

To become a sales leader, or qualify for a higher level, Members must achieve specified Volume Point thresholds of product sales or earn certain amounts of royalty overrides during specified time periods and generally must re-qualify once each year. To attain sales leader status, a Member generally must be responsible for sales of products representing an accumulation of at least 4,000 Volume Points in any consecutive twelve month period. To re-qualify, sales leaders need to accumulate 4,000 Volume Points within the 12-month re-qualification period. In February of each year, we remove from the rank of sales leader those individuals who did not satisfy the sales leader qualification requirements during the preceding twelve months. See Item 7, Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations, of this Annual Report on Form 10-K for additional information regarding sales leader retention rates.

The method for calculating distributor allowances and Marketing Plan payouts generally utilizes 90% to 95% of suggested retail price, depending on the product and market, to which we apply discounts of up to 50% for distributor allowances and payout rates of up to 15% for royalty overrides, up to 7% for production bonuses, and approximately 1% for the Mark Hughes bonus.

Members, with the exception of those in China and our preferred members, earn the right to receive royalty overrides upon attaining the level of sales leader and above, and production bonuses upon attaining the level of Global Expansion Team and above. Once a Member becomes a sales leader, he or she has the opportunity to qualify by earning specified amounts of royalty overrides for the Global Expansion Team, the Millionaire Team or the President’s Team, and thereby receives production bonuses of up to 7%. We believe that the opportunity for Members to earn royalty overrides and production bonuses contributes significantly to our ability to retain our most active and productive Members.

Our business model in China includes unique features as compared to our traditional business model in order to ensure compliance with Chinese government regulations. These include Company operated retail stores and certification procedures for sales personnel when necessary. These and other features of our business model in China have resulted in, and will continue to result in, substantial ongoing costs.

PRODUCT RETURN AND BUYBACK POLICIES

In substantially all markets, our products include a customer satisfaction guarantee. Under this guarantee, any customer or preferred member who is not satisfied with a Herbalife product for any reason may return it or any unused portion of it within 30 days from the time of receipt to the Member from whom it was purchased for a full refund or credit toward the exchange of another Herbalife product. If they return the products to us on a timely basis, the Member may obtain replacement product from us for such returned products. In addition, in substantially all jurisdictions, we maintain a buyback program pursuant to which we will repurchase products sold to a Member who has decided to leave the business. The buyback program has certain terms and conditions that may vary by market, but generally permits the return of unopened and marketable condition products or sales materials purchased within the prior twelve month period, in exchange for a refund of the net price paid for the product, including the original cost of shipment to the Member. We pay the cost to return the product to us. Together, product returns and buybacks were approximately 0.1%, 0.1%, and 0.2% of product sales for the years ended December 31, 2016, 2015, and 2014, respectively.

REGULATION

General

In both our United States and foreign markets, we are affected by extensive laws, governmental regulations, administrative determinations and guidance, court decisions and similar constraints. Such laws, regulations and other constraints exist at the federal, state or local levels in the United States and at all levels of government in foreign jurisdictions, including regulations pertaining to: (1) the formulation, manufacturing, packaging, labeling, distribution, importation, sale and storage of our products; (2) product claims

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and advertising, including direct claims and advertising by us, as well as claims and advertising by Members, for which we may be held responsible; (3) our network marketing program; (4) transfer pricing and similar regulations that affect the level of U.S. and foreign taxable income and customs duties; (5) taxation of our Members (which in some instances may impose an obligation on us to collect the taxes and maintain appropriate records); and (6) currency exchange and repatriation.

Products

In the United States, the formulation, manufacturing, packaging, holding, labeling, promotion, advertising, distribution and sale of our products are subject to regulation by various governmental agencies, including (1) the Food and Drug Administration, or FDA, (2) the Federal Trade Commission, or FTC, (3) the Consumer Product Safety Commission, or CPSC, (4) the United States Department of Agriculture, or USDA, (5) the Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA, (6) the United States Postal Service, (7) United States Customs and Border Patrol, and (8) the Drug Enforcement Administration. Our activities also are regulated by various agencies of the states, localities and foreign countries in which our products are manufactured, distributed or sold. The FDA, in particular, regulates the formulation, manufacture and labeling of over-the-counter, or OTC, drugs, conventional foods, dietary supplements, and cosmetics such as those distributed by us. The majority of the products marketed by us in the United States are classified as conventional foods or dietary supplements under the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, or FFDCA. Internationally, the majority of products marketed by us are classified as foods, health supplements or food supplements.

FDA regulations govern the preparation, packaging, holding and distribution of foods, OTC drugs and dietary supplements. Among other obligations, they require us and our contract manufacturers to meet relevant current good manufacturing practice, or cGMP, regulations for the preparation, packaging, holding, and distribution of OTC drugs and dietary supplements. The FDA also requires identity testing of all incoming dietary ingredients used in dietary supplements, unless a company successfully petitions for an exemption from this testing requirement in accordance with the regulations. The cGMPs are designed to ensure that OTC drug and dietary supplement products are not adulterated with contaminants or impurities, and are labeled to accurately reflect the active ingredients and other ingredients in the products. Herbalife has regularly implemented enhancements, modifications and improvements to our manufacturing and corporate quality processes and believes we and our contract manufacturers are compliant with the FDA’s cGMP and other applicable manufacturing regulations in the United States.

The U.S. Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994, or DSHEA, revised the provisions of FFDCA concerning the composition and labeling of dietary supplements. Under DSHEA, dietary supplement labeling may display structure/function claims that the manufacturer can substantiate, which are claims that the products affect the structure or function of the body, without prior FDA approval, but with notification to the FDA. They may not bear any claim that they can prevent, treat, cure, mitigate or diagnose disease (a drug claim). In addition, the agency permits companies to use FDA-approved full and qualified health claims for products containing specific ingredients that meet stated requirements.

U.S. law also requires that all serious adverse events occurring within the United States involving dietary supplements or OTC drugs be reported. We believe that we are in full compliance with this law having implemented a worldwide procedure governing adverse event identification, investigation and reporting. As a result of reported adverse events, we may from time to time elect, or be required, to remove a product from a market, either temporarily or permanently.

Some of the products marketed by us are considered conventional foods and are currently labeled as such. Within the United States, this category of products is subject to the federal Nutrition, Labeling and Education Act, or NLEA, and regulations promulgated under the NLEA. The NLEA regulates health claims, ingredient labeling and nutrient content claims characterizing the level of a nutrient in the product. The ingredients in conventional foods must either be generally recognized as safe by experts or be approved as food additives under FDA regulations.

The federal Food Safety Modernization Act is also applicable to some of Herbalife’s business and will require the development of a food safety plan and the implementation of preventative measures to protect against food contamination. Dietary supplements manufactured in accordance with cGMPs and foods manufactured in accordance with the low acid food regulations are exempt.

In foreign markets, prior to commencing operations and prior to making or permitting sales of our products in the market, we may be required to obtain an approval, license or certification from the relevant country’s ministry of health or comparable agency. Where a formal approval, license or certification is not required, we nonetheless seek the advice of counsel regarding our compliance with applicable laws. Prior to entering a new market in which a formal approval, license or certificate is required, we work extensively with local authorities in order to obtain the requisite approvals. The approval process generally requires us to present each product and product ingredient to appropriate regulators and, in some instances, arrange for testing of products by local technicians for ingredient analysis. The approvals may be conditioned on reformulation of our products, or may be unavailable with respect to some products or some ingredients.

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The FTC, which exercises jurisdiction over the advertising of all of our products in the United States, has in the past several years instituted enforcement actions against several dietary supplement and food companies and against manufacturers of weight loss products generally for false and misleading advertising of some of their products. In addition, the FTC has increased its scrutiny of the use of testimonials, which we also utilize, as well as the role of expert endorsers and product clinical studies. We cannot be sure that the FTC, or comparable foreign agencies, will not question our advertising or other operations in the future.

In Europe, where an EU Health Claim regulation is in effect, the European Food Safety Authority, or EFSA, issued opinions following its review of a number of proposed claims dossiers. ESFA’s opinions, which have been accepted by the European Commission, are having a limiting effect on the use of certain nutrition-specific claims made for our products. Herbalife has revised affected product labels to ensure regulatory compliance. Until all modified labels are in the marketplace, there is the possibility that one or more EU Member States could take enforcement action.

We are subject to a permanent injunction issued in October 1986 pursuant to the settlement of an action instituted by the California Attorney General, the State Health Director and the Santa Cruz County District Attorney. We consented to the entry of this injunction without in any way admitting the allegations of the complaint. The injunction prevents us from making specified claims in advertising of our products, but does not prevent us from continuing to make specified claims concerning our products, provided that we have a reasonable basis for making the claims. The injunction also prohibits certain recruiting-related investments from Members and mandates that payments to Members be premised on retail sales (as defined); the injunction provides that the Company may establish a system to verify or document such compliance.

Network Marketing Program

Our network marketing program is subject to a number of federal and state regulations administered by the FTC and various state agencies as well as regulations in foreign markets administered by foreign agencies. Regulations applicable to network marketing organizations generally are directed at ensuring that product sales ultimately are made to consumers and that advancement within our organization is based on sales of the organization’s products rather than investments in the organization or other non-retail sales related criteria. When required by law, we obtain regulatory approval of our network marketing program or, when this approval is not required, the favorable opinion of local counsel as to regulatory compliance.

On July 15, 2016, we reached a settlement with the FTC and entered into a proposed Stipulation to Entry of Order for Permanent Injunction and Monetary Judgment, or the Consent Order, which resolved the FTC’s multi-year investigation of us. The Consent Order became effective on July 25, 2016, or the Effective Date, upon final approval by the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. Pursuant to the Consent Order, we agreed to implement certain new procedures and enhance certain existing procedures in the U.S., most of which we will have 10 months from the Effective Date to implement. Among other requirements, the Consent Order requires us to categorize all existing and future Members in the U.S. as either “preferred members” - who are simply consumers who only wish to purchase product for their own household use, or “distributors” - who are Members who wish to resell some products or build a sales organization.  We also agreed to compensate distributors on U.S. retail sales within their downline organizations, which include purchases by preferred members, purchases by a distributor for his or her personal consumption within allowable limits and sales of product by a distributor to his or her customers.  The Consent Order also requires distributors to meet certain conditions before opening Nutrition Clubs and/or entering into leases for their Herbalife business in the United States. The Consent Order also prohibits us from making expressly or by implication, any representation regarding the amount or level of income, including full-time or part-time income that a participant can reasonably expect to earn in our network marketing program, unless the representation is non-misleading and we possess competent and reliable evidence sufficient to substantiate that the representation is true.  

The Consent Order also prohibits us and other persons who act in active concert with us from representing that participation in the network marketing program will result in a lavish lifestyle and from using images or descriptions to represent or imply that participation in the program is likely to result in a lavish lifestyle. In addition, the Consent Order prohibits specified misrepresentations in connection with marketing the program, including misrepresentations regarding any fact material to participation such as the cost to participate or the amount of income likely to be earned.  The order also requires us to clearly and conspicuously disclose all information material to participation in the marketing program, including our refund and buyback policy.

We intend to monitor the impact of the Consent Order regularly and our Board of Directors has established the Implementation Oversight Committee in connection with the Consent Order.  The committee has met and will meet regularly with management to oversee our compliance with the terms of the Consent Order.  While we currently do not expect the settlement to have a long-term and materially adverse impact on our business and our Member base, our business and our Member base, particularly in the U.S., may be negatively impacted as we and they adjust to the changes.

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Additionally, the FTC has promulgated nonbinding Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising, or Guides, that explain how the FTC interprets Section 5 of the FTC Act’s prohibition on unfair or deceptive acts or practices. Consequently, the FTC could bring a Section 5 enforcement action based on practices that are inconsistent with the Guides. Under the Guides, advertisements that feature a consumer and convey his or her atypical experience with a product or service are required to clearly disclose the results that consumers can generally expect. Herbalife has adapted its practices and rules regarding the practices of its Members to comply with the revised Guides and to comply with the Consent Order.

The terms of the settlement do not change our going to market through direct selling by independent distributors, and compensating those distributors based upon the product they and their sales organization sell. We were at the time of the settlement, and are now, in the process of implementing many of the new and enhanced procedures; however, the terms of the settlement and the costs to comply therewith could adversely affect our business operations, our results of operations and our financial condition. See Part I, Item 1A – Risk Factors of this Annual Report on Form 10-K for a discussion of risks related to the settlement with the FTC.

We also are subject to the risk of private party challenges to the legality of our network marketing program both in the United States and internationally. For example, in Webster v. Omnitrition International, Inc., 79 F.3d 776 (9th Cir. 1996), the network marketing program of Omnitrition International, Inc., or Omnitrition, was challenged in a class action by Omnitrition distributors who alleged that it was operating an illegal “pyramid scheme” in violation of federal and state laws. We believe that our network marketing program satisfies federal and other applicable statutes and case law.

In some countries, regulations applicable to the activities of our Members also may affect our business because in some countries we are, or regulators may assert that we are, responsible for our Members’ conduct. In these countries, regulators may request or require that we take steps to ensure that our Members comply with local regulations. The types of regulated conduct include: (1) representations concerning our products; (2) income representations made by us and/or Members; (3) public media advertisements, which in foreign markets may require prior approval by regulators; (4) sales of products in markets in which the products have not been approved, licensed or certified for sale; and (5) classification by government agencies of our Members as employees of the Company.

In some markets, it is possible that improper product claims by Members could result in our products being reviewed by regulatory authorities and, as a result, being classified or placed into another category as to which stricter regulations are applicable. In addition, we might be required to make labeling changes.

We also are subject to regulations in various foreign markets pertaining to social security assessments, employment and severance pay requirements, import/export regulations and antitrust issues. As an example, in some markets, we are substantially restricted in the amount and types of rules and termination criteria that we can impose on Members without having to pay social security assessments on behalf of the Members and without incurring severance obligations to terminated Members. In some countries, we may be subject to these obligations in any event.

It is an ongoing part of our business to monitor and respond to regulatory and legal developments, including those that may affect our network marketing program. However, the regulatory requirements concerning network marketing programs do not include bright line rules and are inherently fact-based. An adverse judicial determination with respect to our network marketing program could have a material adverse effect to our financial condition and operating results. An adverse determination could: (1) require us to make modifications to our network marketing program, (2) result in negative publicity, or (3) have a negative impact on Member morale. In addition, adverse rulings by courts in any proceedings challenging the legality of network marketing systems, even in those not involving us directly, could have a material adverse effect on our operations.

As has been reported in the national media, a hedge fund manager publicly raised allegations regarding the legality of our network marketing program. We believe, based in part upon prior guidance to the general public from the FTC, that our network marketing program is compliant with applicable law.

Transfer Pricing and Similar Regulations

In many countries, including the United States, we are subject to transfer pricing and other tax regulations designed to ensure that appropriate levels of income are reported as earned by our U.S. or local entities and are taxed accordingly. In addition, our operations are subject to regulations designed to ensure that appropriate levels of customs duties are assessed on the importation of our products.

Although we believe that we are in substantial compliance with all applicable regulations and restrictions, we are subject to the risk that governmental authorities could audit our transfer pricing and related practices and assert that additional taxes are owed. For example, we are currently subject to pending or proposed audits that are at various levels of review, assessment or appeal in a number

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of jurisdictions involving transfer pricing issues, income taxes, duties, value added taxes, withholding taxes and related interest and penalties in material amounts. In some circumstances, additional taxes, interest and penalties have been assessed, and we will be required to appeal or litigate to reverse the assessments. We have taken advice from our tax advisors and believe that there are substantial defenses to the allegations that additional taxes are owed, and we are vigorously defending against the imposition of additional proposed taxes. The ultimate resolution of these matters may take several years, and the outcome is uncertain.

In the event that the audits or assessments are concluded adversely to us, we may or may not be able to offset or mitigate the consolidated effect of foreign income tax assessments through the use of U.S. foreign tax credits. Because the laws and regulations governing U.S. foreign tax credits are complex and subject to periodic legislative amendment, we cannot be sure that we would in fact be able to take advantage of any foreign tax credits in the future.

Compliance Procedures

As indicated above, Herbalife, our products and our network marketing program are subject, both directly and indirectly through Members’ conduct, to numerous federal, state and local regulations, both in the United States and foreign markets. Beginning in 1985, we began to institute formal regulatory compliance measures by developing a system to identify specific complaints against Members and to remedy any violations of Herbalife’s rules by Members through appropriate sanctions, including warnings, suspensions and, when necessary, terminations. In our manuals, seminars and other training programs and materials, we emphasize that Members are prohibited from making therapeutic claims for our products.

Our general policy regarding acceptance of Member applications from individuals who do not reside in one of our markets is to refuse to accept the individual’s Member application.

In order to comply with regulations that apply to both us and our Members, we conduct considerable research into the applicable regulatory framework prior to entering any new market to identify all necessary licenses and approvals and applicable limitations on our operations in that market. Typically, we conduct this research with the assistance of local legal counsel and other representatives. We devote substantial resources to obtaining the necessary licenses and approvals and bringing our operations into compliance with the applicable limitations. We also research laws applicable to Member operations and revise or alter our Member manuals and other training materials and programs to provide Members with guidelines for operating a business, marketing and distributing our products and similar matters, as required by applicable regulations in each market. We are, however, unable to monitor our Members effectively to ensure that they refrain from distributing our products in countries where we have not commenced operations, and we do not devote significant resources to this type of monitoring.

In addition, regulations in existing and new markets often are ambiguous and subject to considerable interpretive and enforcement discretion by the responsible regulators. Moreover, even when we believe that we and our Members are initially in compliance with all applicable regulations, new regulations regularly are being added and the interpretation of existing regulations is subject to change. Further, the content and impact of regulations to which we are subject may be influenced by public attention directed at us, our products or our network marketing program, so that extensive adverse publicity about us, our products or our network marketing program may result in increased regulatory scrutiny.

Employees

As of December 31, 2016, we had approximately 8,300 employees, of which approximately 2,400 were located in the United States. These numbers do not include our Members, who are independent contractors. In certain countries, which include China and Mexico, we have employees who are subject to labor union agreements and there have been no significant business interruptions as a result of any labor disputes.

Available Information

Our Internet website address is www.Herbalife.com. We make available free of charge on our website our Annual Reports on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, Current Reports on Form 8-K and amendments to those reports filed or furnished pursuant to Section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, or the Exchange Act, as soon as reasonably practical after we file such material with, or furnish it to, the Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC. This information is also available in print to any shareholder who requests it, with any such requests addressed to Investor Relations, 800 West Olympic Blvd., Suite 406, Los Angeles, CA 90015. Certain of these documents may also be obtained by calling the SEC at 1-800-SEC-0330. The SEC also maintains an Internet website that contains reports, and other information regarding issuers that file electronically with the SEC at www.sec.gov. We also make available free of charge on our website our Corporate Governance Guidelines, our Code of Business Conduct and Ethics, and the Charters of our Audit Committee, Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee, and Compensation Committee of our Board of Directors.

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Item 1A.

RISK FACTORS

Risks Related to Us and Our Business

Our failure to establish and maintain Member and sales leader relationships for any reason could negatively impact sales of our products and harm our financial condition and operating results.

We distribute our products exclusively to and through independent Members, and we depend upon them directly for substantially all of our sales. Our Members, including our sales leaders, may voluntarily terminate their Member agreements with us at any time. To increase our revenue, we must increase the number of, or the productivity of, our Members. Accordingly, our success depends in significant part upon our ability to recruit, retain and motivate a large base of Members. The loss of a significant number of Members for any reason could negatively impact sales of our products and could impair our ability to attract new Members. In our efforts to attract and retain Members, we compete with other network marketing organizations, including those in the weight management, dietary and nutritional supplement and personal care and cosmetic product industries. Our operating results could be harmed if our existing and new business opportunities and products do not generate sufficient interest to retain existing Members and attract new Members.

Our Member organization has a high turnover rate, which is a common characteristic found in the direct selling industry. See Item 7, Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations, of this Annual Report on Form 10-K for additional information regarding sales leader retention rates.

Because we cannot exert the same level of influence or control over our independent Members as we could were they our own employees, our Members could fail to comply with applicable law or our Member policies and procedures, which could result in claims against us that could harm our financial condition and operating results.

Our Members are independent contractors and, accordingly, we are not in a position to directly provide the same direction, motivation and oversight as we would if Members were our own employees. As a result, there can be no assurance that our Members will participate in our marketing strategies or plans, accept our introduction of new products, or comply with our Members policies and procedures.

Extensive federal, state and local laws regulate our business, products and network marketing program. Because we have expanded into foreign countries, our policies and procedures for our independent Members differ due to the different legal requirements of each country in which we do business. While we have implemented Member policies and procedures designed to govern Member conduct and to protect the goodwill associated with Herbalife trademarks and tradenames, it can be difficult to enforce these policies and procedures because of the large number of Members and their independent status. Violations by our independent Members of applicable law or of our policies and procedures in dealing with customers could reflect negatively on our products and operations and harm our business reputation. In addition, it is possible that a court could hold us civilly or criminally accountable based on vicarious liability because of the actions of our independent Members.

Adverse publicity associated with our products, ingredients or network marketing program, or those of similar companies, could harm our financial condition and operating results.

The size of our distribution force and the results of our operations may be significantly affected by the public’s perception of the Company and similar companies. This perception is dependent upon opinions concerning:

 

the safety and quality of our products and ingredients;

 

the safety and quality of similar products and ingredients distributed by other companies;

 

our Members;

 

our network marketing program; and

 

the direct selling business generally.

Adverse publicity concerning any actual or purported failure of our Company or our Members to comply with applicable laws and regulations regarding product claims and advertising, good manufacturing practices, the regulation of our network marketing program, the registration of our products for sale in our target markets or other aspects of our business, whether or not resulting in enforcement actions or the imposition of penalties, could have an adverse effect on the goodwill of our Company and could negatively

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affect our ability to attract, motivate and retain Members, which would negatively impact our ability to generate revenue. We cannot ensure that all of our Members will comply with applicable legal requirements relating to the advertising, labeling, licensing or distribution of our products.

In addition, our Members’ and consumers’ perception of the safety and quality of our products and ingredients as well as similar products and ingredients distributed by other companies can be significantly influenced by media attention, publicized scientific research or findings, widespread product liability claims and other publicity concerning our products or ingredients or similar products and ingredients distributed by other companies. Adverse publicity, whether or not accurate or resulting from consumers’ use or misuse of our products, that associates consumption of our products or ingredients, or any similar products or ingredients with illness or other adverse effects, questions the benefits of our or similar products or claims that any such products are ineffective, inappropriately labeled or have inaccurate instructions as to their use, could lead to lawsuits or other legal challenges and could negatively impact our reputation, the market demand for our products, or our general business.

From time to time, we receive inquiries from government agencies and third parties requesting information concerning our products. We fully cooperate with these inquiries including, when requested, by the submission of detailed technical dossiers addressing product composition, manufacturing, process control, quality assurance, and contaminant testing. Further, we periodically respond to requests from regulators for additional information regarding product-specific adverse events. We are confident in the safety of our products when used as directed. However, there can be no assurance that regulators in these or other markets will not take actions that might delay or prevent the introduction of new products, or require the reformulation or the temporary or permanent withdrawal of certain of our existing products from their markets.

Adverse publicity relating to us, our products or our operations, including our network marketing program or the attractiveness or viability of the financial opportunities provided thereby, has had, and could again have, a negative effect on our ability to attract, motivate and retain Members, and it could also affect our share price. In the mid-1980s, our products and marketing program became the subject of regulatory scrutiny in the United States, resulting in large part from claims and representations made about our products by our Members, including impermissible therapeutic claims. The resulting adverse publicity caused a rapid, substantial loss of Members in the United States and a corresponding reduction in sales beginning in 1985. In addition, in late 2012, a hedge fund manager publicly raised allegations regarding the legality of our network marketing program and announced that his fund had taken a significant short position regarding our common shares, leading to intense public scrutiny and governmental inquiries, and significant stock price volatility. We expect that negative publicity will, from time to time, continue to negatively impact our business in particular markets and may adversely affect our share price.

Our failure to appropriately respond to changing consumer preferences and demand for new products or product enhancements could significantly harm our Member and customer relationships and product sales and harm our financial condition and operating results.

Our business is subject to changing consumer trends and preferences, especially with respect to weight management products. Our continued success depends in part on our ability to anticipate and respond to these changes, and we may not respond in a timely or commercially appropriate manner to such changes. Furthermore, the nutritional supplement industry is characterized by rapid and frequent changes in demand for products and new product introductions and enhancements. Our failure to accurately predict these trends could negatively impact consumer opinion of our products, which in turn could harm our customer and Member relationships and cause the loss of sales. The success of our new product offerings and enhancements depends upon a number of factors, including our ability to:

 

accurately anticipate customer needs;

 

innovate and develop new products or product enhancements that meet these needs;

 

successfully commercialize new products or product enhancements in a timely manner;

 

price our products competitively;

 

manufacture and deliver our products in sufficient volumes and in a timely manner; and

 

differentiate our product offerings from those of our competitors.

If we do not introduce new products or make enhancements to meet the changing needs of our customers in a timely manner, some of our products could be rendered obsolete, which could negatively impact our revenues, financial condition and operating results.

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Due to the high level of competition in our industry, we might fail to retain our customers and Members, which would harm our financial condition and operating results.

The business of marketing weight management and nutrition products is highly competitive and sensitive to the introduction of new products or weight management plans, including various prescription drugs, which may rapidly capture a significant share of the market. These market segments include numerous manufacturers, distributors, marketers, retailers and physicians that actively compete for the business of consumers both in the United States and abroad. In addition, we anticipate that we will be subject to increasing competition in the future from sellers that utilize electronic commerce. Some of these competitors have longer operating histories, significantly greater financial, technical, product development, marketing and sales resources, greater name recognition, larger established customer bases and better-developed distribution channels than we do. Our present or future competitors may be able to develop products that are comparable or superior to those we offer, adapt more quickly than we do to new technologies, evolving industry trends and standards or customer requirements, or devote greater resources to the development, promotion and sale of their products than we do. For example, if our competitors develop other diet or weight management products that prove to be more effective than our products, demand for our products could be reduced. Accordingly, we may not be able to compete effectively in our markets and competition may intensify.

We are also subject to significant competition for the recruitment of Members from other network marketing organizations, including those that market weight management products, dietary and nutritional supplements and personal care products as well as other types of products. We compete for global customers and Members with regard to weight management, nutritional supplement and personal care products. Our competitors include both direct selling companies such as NuSkin Enterprises, Nature’s Sunshine, Alticor/Amway, Melaleuca, Avon Products, Oriflame, Omnilife, Tupperware and Mary Kay, as well as retail establishments such as Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, General Nutrition Centers, Wal-Mart and retail pharmacies.

In addition, because the industry in which we operate is not particularly capital intensive or otherwise subject to high barriers to entry, it is relatively easy for new competitors to emerge who will compete with us for our Members and customers. In addition, the fact that our Members may easily enter and exit our network marketing program contributes to the level of competition that we face. For example, a Member can enter or exit our network marketing system with relative ease at any time without facing a significant investment or loss of capital because (1) we have a low upfront financial cost to become a Herbalife Member, (2) we do not require any specific amount of time to work as a Member, (3) we do not charge Members for any training that we might require, (4) we do not prohibit a new Member from working with another company, and (5) in substantially all jurisdictions, we maintain a buyback program pursuant to which we will repurchase products sold to a Member who has decided to leave the business. Our ability to remain competitive therefore depends, in significant part, on our success in recruiting and retaining Members through an attractive compensation plan, the maintenance of an attractive product portfolio and other incentives. We cannot ensure that our programs for recruitment and retention of Members will be successful and if they are not, our financial condition and operating results would be harmed.

We are affected by extensive laws, governmental regulations, administrative determinations, court decisions and similar constraints both domestically and abroad, and our failure or our Members’ failure to comply with these constraints could lead to the imposition of significant penalties or claims, which could harm our financial condition and operating results.

In both domestic and foreign markets, the formulation, manufacturing, packaging, labeling, distribution, advertising, importation, exportation, licensing, sale and storage of our products are affected by extensive laws, governmental regulations, administrative determinations, court decisions and other similar constraints. Such laws, regulations and other constraints may exist at the federal, state or local levels in the United States and at all levels of government in foreign jurisdictions. There can be no assurance that we or our Members are in compliance with all of these regulations. Our failure or our Members’ failure to comply with these regulations or new regulations could disrupt our Members’ sale of our products, or lead to the imposition of significant penalties or claims and could negatively impact our business. In addition, the adoption of new regulations or changes in the interpretations of existing regulations, such as those relating to genetically modified foods, may result in significant compliance costs or discontinuation of product sales and may negatively impact the marketing of our products, resulting in significant loss of sales revenues.

The Consent Order prohibits us or allowing our Members to make any representation regarding the amount or level of income, including full-time or part-time income, that a participant can reasonably expect to earn in our network marketing program, unless the representation is non-misleading and we possesses competent and reliable evidence sufficient to substantiate that the representation is true.  The Consent Order also prohibits us and other persons who act in active concert with us from representing that participation in the network marketing program will result in a lavish lifestyle and from using images or descriptions to represent or imply that participation in the program is likely to result in a lavish lifestyle. In addition, the Consent Order prohibits specified misrepresentations in connection with marketing the program, including misrepresentations regarding any fact material to participation such as the cost to participate or the amount of income likely to be earned.  The order also requires us to clearly and conspicuously disclose all information material to participation in the marketing program, including our refund and buyback policy.

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The FTC revised its Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising, or Guides, which became effective on December 1, 2009. Although the Guides are not binding, they explain how the FTC interprets Section 5 of the FTC Act’s prohibition on unfair or deceptive acts or practices. Consequently, the FTC could bring a Section 5 enforcement action based on practices that are inconsistent with the Guides. Under the revised Guides, advertisements that feature a consumer and convey his or her atypical experience with a product or service are required to clearly disclose the results that consumers can generally expect. In contrast to the 1980 version of the Guides, which allowed advertisers to describe atypical results in a testimonial as long as they included a disclaimer such as “results not typical”, the revised Guides no longer contain such a safe harbor. The revised Guides also add new examples to illustrate the long-standing principle that “material connections” between advertisers and endorsers (such as payments or free products), connections that consumers might not expect, must be disclosed. Herbalife has revised its marketing materials to be compliant with the revised Guides. However, it is possible that our use, and that of our Members, of testimonials in the advertising and promotion of our products, including but not limited to our weight management products and our income opportunity, will be significantly impacted and therefore might negatively impact our sales.

Governmental regulations in countries where we plan to commence or expand operations may prevent or delay entry into those markets. In addition, our ability to sustain satisfactory levels of sales in our markets is dependent in significant part on our ability to introduce additional products into such markets. However, governmental regulations in our markets, both domestic and international, can delay or prevent the introduction, or require the reformulation or withdrawal, of certain of our products. Any such regulatory action, whether or not it results in a final determination adverse to us, could create negative publicity, with detrimental effects on the motivation and recruitment of Members and, consequently, on sales.

We are subject to rules of the Food and Drug Administration, or FDA, for current good manufacturing practices, or cGMPs, for the manufacture, packing, labeling and holding of dietary supplements and over-the-counter drugs distributed in the United States. Herbalife has implemented a comprehensive quality assurance program that is designed to maintain compliance with the cGMPs products manufactured by or on behalf of Herbalife for distribution in the United States. However, if Herbalife should be found not to be in compliance with cGMPs for the products we self-manufacture, it could negatively impact our reputation and ability to sell our products even after any such situation had been rectified. Further, if contract manufacturers whose products bear Herbalife labels fail to comply with the cGMPs, this could negatively impact Herbalife’s reputation and ability to sell its products even though Herbalife is not directly liable under the cGMPs for such compliance. In complying with the dietary supplement cGMPs, we have experienced increases in production costs as a result of the necessary increase in testing of raw ingredients, work in process and finished products.

Since late 2012, a hedge fund manager has made and continues to make allegations regarding the Company and its network marketing program. We believe these allegations are without merit and are vigorously defending ourselves against such claims, including proactively reaching out to governmental authorities about what we believe is manipulative activity with respect to our securities. Because of these allegations, we and others have received and may receive additional regulatory and governmental inquiries. For example, we have previously disclosed inquiries from the FTC, SEC and other governmental authorities. In the future, these and other governmental authorities may determine to seek information from us and other persons relating to these same or other allegations. If we believe any governmental or regulatory inquiry or investigation is or becomes material, it will be disclosed individually. Consistent with our policies, we have cooperated and will continue to fully cooperate with any governmental or regulatory inquiries or investigations.

Our network marketing program could be found to be not in compliance with current or newly adopted laws or regulations in one or more markets, which could prevent us from conducting our business in these markets and harm our financial condition and operating results.

Our network marketing program is subject to a number of federal and state regulations administered by the FTC and various federal and state agencies in the United States as well as regulations on direct selling in foreign markets administered by foreign agencies. We are subject to the risk that, in one or more markets, our network marketing program could be found by federal, state or foreign regulators not to be in compliance with applicable law or regulations. As previously disclosed, we entered into the Consent Order with the FTC to settle the FTC’s multi-year investigation into our business for compliance with these regulations. Another example is the 1986 permanent injunction entered in California in proceedings initiated by the California Attorney General. There can be no assurances other federal, state attorneys general or foreign regulators will not take similar action.

Regulations applicable to network marketing organizations generally are directed at preventing fraudulent or deceptive schemes, often referred to as “pyramid” or “chain sales” schemes, by ensuring that product sales ultimately are made to consumers and that advancement within an organization is based on sales of the organization’s products rather than investments in the organization or other non-retail sales-related criteria. The regulatory requirements concerning network marketing programs do not include “bright line” rules and are inherently fact-based and, thus, we are subject to the risk that these laws or regulations or the enforcement or interpretation of these laws and regulations by governmental agencies or courts can change. While we believe we are in compliance with these regulations, including those enforced by the FTC and the permanent injunction in California, and are compliant with those

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provisions of the Consent Order that are currently applicable and expect to fully comply with all other aspects of the Consent Order as and when they go into effect, there is no assurance any federal, state or foreign courts or agencies or the independent compliance auditor under the Consent Order would agree, including a federal court or the FTC in respect of the Consent Order or a court or the California Attorney General in respect to the permanent injunction.

The ambiguity surrounding these laws can also affect the public perception of the Company. Specifically, in late 2012, a hedge fund manager publicly raised allegations regarding the legality of our network marketing program and announced that his fund had taken a significant short position regarding our common shares, leading to intense public scrutiny and significant stock price volatility. The failure of our network marketing program to comply with current or newly adopted regulations, the Consent Order or California injunction or any allegations or charges to that effect brought by federal, state, or foreign regulators could negatively impact our business in a particular market or in general and may adversely affect our share price.

We are also subject to the risk of private party challenges to the legality of our network marketing program, whether as a result of the Consent Order or otherwise. Some network marketing programs of other companies have been successfully challenged in the past, while other challenges to network marketing programs of other companies have been defeated. Adverse judicial determinations with respect to our network marketing program, or in proceedings not involving us directly but which challenge the legality of network marketing systems, in any other market in which we operate, could negatively impact our business.

We are subject to the Consent Order with the FTC, the effects of which, or any failure to comply therewith, could harm our financial condition and operating results.

As previously disclosed, on July 15, 2016, we reached a consensual resolution with the FTC regarding its multi-year investigation of our business resulting in the entry into a Stipulation to Entry of Order for Permanent Injunction and Monetary Judgment in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. The Consent Order became effective on July 25, 2016 upon final approval by the Court. As part of the Consent Order, we agreed to make a payment of $200 million and to implement certain new procedures and enhance certain existing procedures in the United States. We also agreed to be subject to certain audits by an independent compliance auditor, or the ICA, for a period of seven years; requirements regarding compliance certification and record creation and maintenance; and a prohibition on misrepresentations and misleading claims regarding, among other things, income and lavish lifestyles. The FTC and ICA will also have the right to inspect Company records and request additional compliance reports for purposes of conducting audits pursuant to the Consent Order. In September 2016, we and the FTC mutually selected Affiliated Monitors, Inc. to serve as the ICA. The terms of the Consent are described in greater detail in our Current Report on Form 8-K filed on July 15, 2016.

The Consent Order includes a number of restrictions and requirements and therefore creates compliance risks, and there is no guarantee that we will be able to fully comply with the Consent Order. While we do not believe the Consent Order changes our business model as a direct selling company, compliance with the Consent Order requires us to implement new and enhanced procedures regarding, among other things, no later than May 2017, tracking retail sales and internal consumption by distributors. We have already instituted certain controls and procedures and developed technology solutions that we believe address certain of the Consent Order requirements and are in the process of designing, implementing and updating others, including tools and software to be used by distributors to, among other things, document their sales and more efficiently track and manage their customer base. However, there can be no assurances that we will be successful in implementing all of the necessary controls and procedures and technology solutions in a timely manner, and some or all of these controls and procedures and technology solutions may not operate as expected. Any failure of these systems to operate as designed could cause us to fail to maintain the records required under, or otherwise violate terms of, the Consent Order. Full compliance with the Consent Order will require the cooperation of Members and, while we are in the process of updating and will further update our training programs and policies to address the Consent Order and expect our Members to comply, we do not have the same level of influence or control over our Members as we could were they our own employees. Any failure by our Members to comply with the relevant aspects of the Consent Order could be a violation of the Consent Order and impact our ability to comply. While we may believe we are fully compliant with the Consent Order and our board of directors has established the Implementation Oversight Committee, a committee which meets regularly with management to oversee our compliance with the terms of the Consent Order, there can be no assurances that the FTC or ICA will agree. In the event we are found to be in violation of the Consent Order, the FTC could, among other things, take corrective actions such as initiating further enforcement actions, seeking an injunction or other restrictive orders and imposing civil monetary penalties against us and our officers and directors.

The Consent Order may also impact our business operations, including our net sales and profitability. For example, the Consent Order imposes certain requirements regarding the verification and receipting of sales and there can be no assurances that these or other requirements of the Consent Order, our compliance therewith and the new and enhanced business procedures implemented as a result thereof, will not cause us to lose sales. The Consent Order also imposes restrictions on distributors’ ability to open Nutrition Clubs in the United States. Additionally, the development activities described above to implement new and enhanced procedures, and any other

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actions taken in respect of compliance with the Consent Order, could be costly. These extensive costs or any amounts in excess of our cost estimates could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations. Our Members may also disagree with our decision to enter into the Consent Order, whether because they disagree with certain terms thereof, they believe it will negatively impact their personal business or they would not have settled the investigation on any terms. The Consent Order also provides that if the total eligible U.S. retail sales on which compensation may be paid falls below 80% of the Company’s total U.S. sales for a given year, compensation payable to distributors on eligible U.S. retail sales will be capped at 10% above the current compensation levels. Because our business is dependent on our Members, our business operations and net sales could be adversely affected if U.S. distributor compensation is restricted or if any meaningful number of Members are dissatisfied, choose to reduce activity levels or leave our business altogether. Member dissatisfaction may also negatively impact the willingness of new Members to join Herbalife as a distributor. Further, management and the board of directors may be required to focus a substantial amount of time on compliance activities, which could divert their attention from running and growing our business. We may also be required to suspend or defer many or all of our current or anticipated business development, capital deployment and other projects unrelated to compliance with the Consent Order to allow resources to be focused on our compliance efforts, which could cause us to fall short of our guidance or analyst or investor expectations. In addition, while we believe the Consent Order will set a new standard within the industry, our competitors are not required to comply with the Consent Order and may not be subject to similar actions, which could limit our ability to effectively compete for members, customers and ultimately net sales.

The Consent Order also creates additional third-party risks. Although the Consent Order resolves the FTC’s multi-year investigation into the Company, it does not prevent other third-parties from bringing actions against us, whether in the form of other state, federal or foreign regulatory investigations or proceedings, or private litigation, any of which could lead to, among other things, monetary settlements, fines, penalties or injunctions. Although we neither admitted nor denied the allegations in the FTC’s complaint in agreeing to the terms of the Consent Order (except as to the Court having jurisdiction over the matter), third-parties may use specific statements or other matters addressed in the Consent Order as the basis for their action. The Consent Order or any subsequent legal or regulatory claim may also lead to negative publicity, whether because some view it as a condemnation of the Company or our direct selling business model or because other third parties use it as justification to make unfounded and baseless assertions against us, our business model or our Members. An increase in the number, severity or scope of third-party claims, actions or public assertions may result in substantial costs and harm to our reputation. The Consent Order may also impact third parties willingness to work with us as a company.

The impact of the Consent Order on our business, including our ability to implement the necessary controls, procedures and technology solutions to comply therewith, and on our business and our member base, could be significant. If our business is adversely impacted, it is uncertain as to whether, or how quickly, we would be able to rebuild, irrespective of market conditions. Our financial condition and results of operations could be harmed if we are not able to comply with the Consent Order, if costs related to compliance exceed our estimates, if it has a negative impact on net sales, or if it leads to further legal, regulatory, or compliance claims, proceedings, or investigations or litigation.

A substantial portion of our business is conducted in foreign markets, exposing us to the risks of trade or foreign exchange restrictions, increased tariffs, foreign currency fluctuations, disruptions or conflicts with our third party importers and similar risks associated with foreign operations.

Approximately 80% of our net sales for the year ended December 31, 2016 were generated outside the United States, exposing our business to risks associated with foreign operations. For example, a foreign government may impose trade or foreign exchange restrictions or increased tariffs, or otherwise limit or restrict our ability to import products into a country, any of which could negatively impact our operations. We are also exposed to risks associated with foreign currency fluctuations. For instance, purchases from suppliers are generally made in U.S. dollars while sales to Members are generally made in local currencies. Accordingly, strengthening of the U.S. dollar versus a foreign currency could have a negative impact on us. Although we engage in transactions to protect against risks associated with foreign currency fluctuations, we cannot be certain any hedging activity will effectively reduce our exchange rate exposure. Additionally, we may be negatively impacted by conflicts with or disruptions caused or faced by our third party importers, as well as conflicts between such importers and local governments or regulating agencies. Our operations in some markets also may be adversely affected by political, economic and social instability in foreign countries. Our operations, both domestically and internationally, could also be affected by laws and regulations related to immigration. For example, current and future tightening of U.S. immigration controls may adversely affect the residence status of non-U.S. employees in our U.S. locations or our ability to hire new non-U.S. employees in such locations and may adversely affect the ability of non-U.S. Members from entering the U.S. As we continue to focus on expanding our existing international operations, these and other risks associated with international operations may increase, which could harm our financial condition and operating results.

Another risk associated with our international operations is the possibility that a foreign government may impose foreign currency remittance restrictions. Due to the possibility of government restrictions on transfers of cash out of the country and control of exchange rates, we may not be able to immediately repatriate cash at the official exchange rate. If this should occur, or if the official

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exchange rate devalues, it may have a material adverse effect on our business, assets, financial condition, liquidity, results of operations or cash flows.  For example, currency restrictions enacted by the Venezuelan government continue to be restrictive and have impacted the ability of our subsidiary in Venezuela, or Herbalife Venezuela, to obtain U.S. dollars in exchange for Venezuelan Bolivars at the official foreign exchange rate. These currency restrictions and current pricing restrictions continue to limit Herbalife Venezuela’s ability to import U.S. dollar denominated raw materials and finished goods which in addition to the Venezuelan Bolivar devaluations has significantly negatively impacted our Venezuelan operations. If we are unsuccessful in implementing any financially and economically viable strategies, including local manufacturing, we may be required to fundamentally change our business model or suspend or cease operations in Venezuela. Also, if the foreign currency and pricing or other restrictions in Venezuela intensify or do not improve and, as a result, impact our ability to control our Venezuelan operations, we may be required to deconsolidate Herbalife Venezuela for U.S. GAAP purposes and would be subject to the risk of further impairments.

Our expansion in China is subject to general, as well as industry-specific, economic, political and legal developments and risks in China and requires that we utilize a different business model from that which we use elsewhere in the world.

Our expansion of operations into China is subject to risks and uncertainties related to general economic, political and legal developments in China, among other things. The Chinese government exercises significant control over the Chinese economy, including but not limited to controlling capital investments, allocating resources, setting monetary policy, controlling foreign exchange and monitoring foreign exchange rates, implementing and overseeing tax regulations, providing preferential treatment to certain industry segments or companies and issuing necessary licenses to conduct business. Accordingly, any adverse change in the Chinese economy, the Chinese legal system or Chinese governmental, economic or other policies could have a material adverse effect on our business in China and our prospects generally.

China has published regulations governing direct selling and prohibiting pyramid promotional schemes, and a number of administrative methods and proclamations have been issued. These regulations require us to use a business model different from that which we offer in other markets. To allow us to operate under these regulations, we have created and introduced a model specifically for China. In China, we have sales representatives who are permitted by the terms of our direct selling licenses to sell away from fixed retail locations in the provinces of Jiangsu, Guangdong, Shandong, Zhejiang, Guizhou, Beijing, Fujian, Sichuan, Hubei, Shanxi, Shanghai, Jiangxi, Liaoning, Jilin, Henan, Chongqing, Hebei, Shaanxi, Tianjin, Heilongjiang, Hunan, Guangxi, Hainan, Anhui, Yunnan, Gansu, Ningxia, and Inner Mongolia. In Xinjiang province where the Company does not have a direct selling license, it has a Company-operated retail store that can directly serve customers and preferred customers. With online orderings throughout China, there has been a declining demand in Company-operated retail stores.

We also engage independent service providers who meet both the requirements to operate their own business under Chinese law as well as the conditions set forth by Herbalife to sell products and provide marketing, sales and support services to Herbalife customers. These business model features in China are not common to the business model we employ elsewhere in the world, and based on the direct selling licenses we have received and the terms of those which we hope to receive in the future to conduct a direct selling enterprise in China, our business model in China will continue to incorporate some or all of these features. The direct selling regulations require us to apply for various approvals to conduct a direct selling enterprise in China. The process for obtaining the necessary licenses to conduct a direct selling business is protracted and cumbersome and involves multiple layers of Chinese governmental authorities and numerous governmental employees at each layer. While direct selling licenses are centrally issued, such licenses are generally valid only in the jurisdictions within which related approvals have been obtained. Such approvals are generally awarded on local and provincial bases, and the approval process requires involvement with multiple ministries at each level. Our participation and conduct during the approval process is guided not only by distinct Chinese practices and customs, but is also subject to applicable laws of China and the other jurisdictions in which we operate our business, including the U.S., as well as our internal code of ethics. There is always a risk that in attempting to comply with local customs and practices in China during the application process or otherwise, we will fail to comply with requirements applicable to us in China itself or in other jurisdictions, and any such failure to comply with applicable requirements could prevent us from obtaining the direct selling licenses or related local or provincial approvals. Furthermore, we rely on certain key personnel in China to assist us during the approval process, and the loss of any such key personnel could delay or hinder our ability to obtain licenses or related approvals. For all of the above reasons, there can be no assurance that we will obtain additional direct selling licenses, or obtain related approvals to expand into any or all of the localities or provinces in China that are important to our business. Our inability to obtain, retain, or renew any or all of the licenses or related approvals that are required for us to operate in China could negatively impact our business.

Additionally, although certain regulations have been published with respect to obtaining and operating under such approvals and otherwise conducting business in China, other regulations are pending and there continues to be uncertainty regarding the interpretation and enforcement of Chinese regulations. The regulatory environment in China is evolving, and officials in the Chinese government exercise broad discretion in deciding how to interpret and apply regulations. We cannot be certain that our business model will continue to be deemed by national or local Chinese regulatory authorities to be compliant with any such regulations. The Chinese government rigorously monitors the direct selling market in China, and in the past has taken serious action against companies that the

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government believed were engaging in activities they regarded to be in violation of applicable law, including shutting down their businesses and imposing substantial fines. As a result, there can be no guarantee that the Chinese government’s current or future interpretation and application of the existing and new regulations will not negatively impact our business in China, result in regulatory investigations or lead to fines or penalties against us or our Chinese Members.

Chinese regulations prevent persons who are not Chinese nationals from engaging in direct selling in China. We cannot guarantee that any of our Members living outside of China or any of our sales representatives or independent service providers in China have not engaged or will not engage in activities that violate our policies in this market, or that violate Chinese law or other applicable law, and therefore result in regulatory action and adverse publicity.

China has also enacted labor contract and social insurance legislation. We have reviewed our employment contracts and contractual relations with employees in China, which include certain of our employed sales personnel, and have transferred those employed sales personnel to independent service providers and have made such other changes as we believe to be necessary or appropriate to bring these contracts and contractual relations into compliance with these laws and their implementing regulations. In addition, we continue to monitor the situation to determine how these laws and regulations will be implemented in practice. There is no guarantee that these laws will not adversely impact us, cause us to change our operating plan for China or otherwise have an adverse impact on our business operations in China.

We may continue to experience rapid growth in China, and there can be no assurances that we will be able to successfully manage expansion of manufacturing operations and a growing and dynamic sales force. If we are unable to effectively scale our supply chain and manufacturing infrastructure to support future growth in China, our operations in China may be adversely impacted.

If we fail to further penetrate existing markets, then the growth in sales of our products, along with our operating results, could be negatively impacted.

The success of our business is to a large extent contingent on our ability to further penetrate existing markets which is subject to numerous factors, many of which are out of our control. Government regulations in both our domestic and international markets can delay or prevent the introduction, or require the reformulation or withdrawal, of some of our products, which could negatively impact our business, financial condition and results of operations. Also, our ability to increase market penetration in certain countries may be limited by the finite number of persons in a given country inclined to pursue a direct selling business opportunity or consumers willing to purchase Herbalife products. Moreover, our growth will depend upon improved training and other activities that enhance Member retention in our markets. While we have recently experienced significant growth in certain of our markets, we cannot assure you that such growth levels will continue in the immediate or long term future. Furthermore, our efforts to support growth in such international markets could be hampered to the extent that our infrastructure in such markets is deficient when compared to our infrastructure in our more developed markets, such as the U.S. Therefore, we cannot assure you that our general efforts to increase our market penetration and Member retention in existing markets will be successful. If we are unable to further penetrate existing markets, our operating results could suffer.

Our contractual obligation to sell our products only through our Herbalife Member network and to refrain from changing certain aspects of our Marketing Plan may limit our growth.

We are a party to an agreement with our Members that provides assurances, to the extent legally permitted, we will not sell Herbalife products worldwide through any distribution channel other than our network of independent Herbalife Members. Thus, we are contractually prohibited from expanding our business by selling Herbalife products through other distribution channels that may be available to our competitors, such as over the Internet, through wholesale sales, by establishing retail stores or through mail order systems. Since this is an open-ended commitment, there can be no assurance that we will be able to take advantage of innovative new distribution channels that are developed in the future.

In addition, this agreement with our Members provides that we will not make any material changes adverse to our Members to certain aspects of our Marketing Plan without the approval described below. For example, our agreement with our Members provides that we may increase, but not decrease, the discount percentages available to our Members for the purchase of products or the applicable royalty override percentages, and production and other bonus percentages available to our Members at various qualification levels within our Member hierarchy. We may not modify the eligibility or qualification criteria for these discounts, royalty overrides and production and other bonuses unless we do so in a manner to make eligibility and/or qualification easier than under the applicable criteria in effect as of the date of the agreement. Our agreement with our Members further provides that we may not vary the criteria for qualification for each Member tier within our Member hierarchy, unless we do so in such a way so as to make qualification easier.

Although we reserved the right to make these changes to our Marketing Plan without the consent of our Members in the event that changes are required by applicable law or are necessary in our reasonable business judgment to account for specific local market

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or currency conditions to achieve a reasonable profit on operations, we may initiate other changes that are adverse to our Members based on an assessment of what will be best for the Company and its Members. Under the agreement with our Members, these other adverse changes would then be submitted to our Member leadership for a vote. The vote would require the approval of at least 51% of our Members then at the level of President’s Team earning at the production bonus level of 6% who vote, provided that at least 50% of those Members entitled to vote do in fact vote. Therefore, while we believe that this agreement has strengthened our relationship with our existing Members, improved our ability to recruit new Members and generally increased the long-term stability of our business, there can be no assurance that our agreement with our Members will not restrict our ability to adapt our Marketing Plan to the evolving requirements of the markets in which we operate. As a result, our growth may be limited.

We depend on the integrity and reliability of our information technology infrastructure, and any related inadequacies may result in substantial interruptions to our business.

Our ability to provide products and services to our Members depends on the performance and availability of our core transactional systems. We upgraded our back office systems globally to the Oracle Enterprise Suite which is supported by a robust hardware and network infrastructure. The Oracle Enterprise Suite is a scalable and stable solution that provides a solid foundation upon which we are building our next generation Member facing Internet toolset. While we continue to invest in our information technology infrastructure, there can be no assurance that there will not be any significant interruptions to such systems or that the systems will be adequate to meet all of our future business needs.

The most important aspect of our information technology infrastructure is the system through which we record and track Member sales, Volume Points, royalty overrides, bonuses and other incentives. We have encountered, and may encounter in the future, errors in our software or our enterprise network, or inadequacies in the software and services supplied by our vendors, although to date none of these errors or inadequacies has had a meaningful adverse impact on our business. Any such errors or inadequacies that we may encounter in the future may result in substantial interruptions to our services and may damage our relationships with, or cause us to lose, our Members if the errors or inadequacies impair our ability to track sales and pay royalty overrides, bonuses and other incentives, which would harm our financial condition and operating results. Such errors may be expensive or difficult to correct in a timely manner, and we may have little or no control over whether any inadequacies in software or services supplied to us by third parties are corrected, if at all.

Our ability to effectively manage our network of Members, and to ship products, and track royalty and bonus payments on a timely basis, depends significantly on our information systems. The failure of our information systems to operate effectively, or a breach in security of these systems, could adversely impact the promptness and accuracy of our product distribution and transaction processing. We could be required to make significant additional expenditures to remediate any such failure, problem or breach.

Anyone who is able to circumvent our security measures could misappropriate confidential or proprietary information, including that of third parties such as our Members, cause interruption in our operations, damage our computers or otherwise damage our reputation and business. We may need to expend significant resources to protect against security breaches or to address problems caused by such breaches. Any actual security breaches could damage our reputation and expose us to a risk of loss or litigation and possible liability under various laws and regulations. In addition, employee error or malfeasance or other errors in the storage, use or transmission of any such information could result in a disclosure to third parties. If this should occur we could incur significant expenses addressing such problems. Since we collect and store Member and vendor information, including credit card information, these risks are heightened.

Since we rely on independent third parties for the manufacture and supply of certain of our products, if these third parties fail to reliably supply products to us at required levels of quality and which are manufactured in compliance with applicable laws, including the dietary supplement and OTC drug cGMPs, then our financial condition and operating results would be harmed.

A significant portion of our products are manufactured at third party contract manufacturers. We cannot assure you that our outside contract manufacturers will continue to reliably supply products to us at the levels of quality, or the quantities, we require, and in compliance with applicable laws, including under the FDA’s cGMP regulations. Additionally, while we are not presently aware of any current liquidity issues with our suppliers, we cannot assure you that they will not experience financial hardship.

For the portion of our product supply that is self-manufactured, we believe we have significantly lowered the product supply risk, as the risk factors of financial health, liquidity, capacity expansion, reliability and product quality are all within our control. However, increases to the volume of products that we self-manufacture in our Winston Salem and Lake Forest Facilities and in Nanjing and Suzhou for the support of China raise the concentration risk that a significant interruption of production at any of our facilities due to, for example, natural disasters including earthquakes, hurricanes and floods, technical issues or work stoppages could impede our ability to conduct business. While our business continuity programs contemplate and plan for such events, if we were to experience such an event resulting in the temporary, partial or complete shutdown of one of these manufacturing facilities, we could

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be required to transfer manufacturing to the surviving facility and/or third-party contract manufacturers if permissible. When permissible, converting or transferring manufacturing to a third-party contract manufacturer could be expensive, time-consuming, result in delays in our production or shipping, reduce our net sales, damage our relationship with Members and damage our reputation in the marketplace, any of which could harm our business, results of operations and financial condition.

Our product supply contracts generally have a three-year term. Except for force majeure events such as natural disasters and other acts of God, and non-performance by Herbalife, our manufacturers generally cannot unilaterally terminate these contracts. These contracts can generally be extended by us at the end of the relevant time period and we have exercised this right in the past. Globally, we have over 50 product suppliers, with Fine Foods (Italy) being a major supplier for meal replacements, protein powders and nutritional supplements. Additionally, we use contract manufacturers in India, Brazil, Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Germany and the Netherlands to support our global business. In the event any of our contract manufacturers were to become unable or unwilling to continue to provide us with products in required volumes and at suitable quality levels, we would be required to identify and obtain acceptable replacement manufacturing sources. There is no assurance that we would be able to obtain alternative manufacturing sources on a timely basis. An extended interruption in the supply of products would result in the loss of sales. In addition, any actual or perceived degradation of product quality as a result of reliance on contract manufacturers may have an adverse effect on sales or result in increased product returns and buybacks.

If we fail to protect our trademarks and tradenames, then our ability to compete could be negatively affected, which would harm our financial condition and operating results.

The market for our products depends to a significant extent upon the goodwill associated with our trademark and tradenames. We own, or have licenses to use, the material trademark and trade name rights used in connection with the packaging, marketing and distribution of our products in the markets where those products are sold. Therefore, trademark and trade name protection is important to our business. Although most of our trademarks are registered in the United States and in certain foreign countries in which we operate, we may not be successful in asserting trademark or trade name protection. In addition, the laws of certain foreign countries may not protect our intellectual property rights to the same extent as the laws of the United States. The loss or infringement of our trademarks or tradenames could impair the goodwill associated with our brands and harm our reputation, which would harm our financial condition and operating results.

Unlike in most of the other markets in which we operate, limited protection of intellectual property is available under Chinese law. Accordingly, we face an increased risk in China that unauthorized parties may attempt to copy or otherwise obtain or use our trademarks, copyrights, product formulations or other intellectual property. Further, because Chinese commercial law is relatively undeveloped, we may have limited legal recourse in the event we encounter significant difficulties with intellectual property theft or infringement. As a result, we cannot assure you that we will be able to adequately protect our product formulations or other intellectual property.

We permit the limited use of our trademarks by our Members to assist them in marketing our products. It is possible that doing so may increase the risk of unauthorized use or misuse of our trademarks in markets where their registration status differs from that asserted by our Members, or they may be used in association with claims or products in a manner not permitted under applicable laws and regulations. Were these to occur it is possible that this could diminish the value of these marks or otherwise impair our further use of these marks.

If our Members fail to comply with labeling laws, then our financial condition and operating results would be harmed.

Although the physical labeling of our products is not within the control of our Members, our Members must nevertheless advertise our products in compliance with the extensive regulations that exist in certain jurisdictions, such as the United States, which considers product advertising to be labeling for regulatory purposes.

Our products are sold principally as foods, dietary supplements and cosmetics and are subject to rigorous FDA and related legal regimens limiting the types of therapeutic claims that can be made for our products. The treatment or cure of disease, for example, is not a permitted claim for these products. While we train our Members and attempt to monitor our Members’ marketing materials, we cannot ensure that all such materials comply with applicable regulations, including bans on therapeutic claims. If our Members fail to comply with these restrictions, then we and our Members could be subjected to claims, financial penalties, mandatory product recalls or relabeling requirements, which could harm our financial condition and operating results. Although we expect that our responsibility for the actions of our Members in such an instance would be dependent on a determination that we either controlled or condoned a noncompliant advertising practice, there can be no assurance that we could not be held vicariously liable for the actions of our Members.

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If our intellectual property is not adequate to provide us with a competitive advantage or to prevent competitors from replicating our products, or if we infringe the intellectual property rights of others, then our financial condition and operating results would be harmed.

Our future success and ability to compete depend upon our ability to timely produce innovative products and product enhancements that motivate our Members and customers, which we attempt to protect under a combination of copyright, trademark and trade secret laws, confidentiality procedures and contractual provisions. However, our products are generally not patented domestically or abroad, and the legal protections afforded by common law and contractual proprietary rights in our products provide only limited protection and may be time-consuming and expensive to enforce and/or maintain. Further, despite our efforts, we may be unable to prevent third parties from infringing upon or misappropriating our proprietary rights or from independently developing non-infringing products that are competitive with, equivalent to and/or superior to our products.

Monitoring infringement and/or misappropriation of intellectual property can be difficult and expensive, and we may not be able to detect every infringement or misappropriation of our proprietary rights. Even if we do detect infringement or misappropriation of our proprietary rights, litigation to enforce these rights could cause us to divert financial and other resources away from our business operations. Further, the laws of some foreign countries do not protect our proprietary rights to the same extent as do the laws of the United States.

Additionally, third parties may claim that products or marks that we have independently developed or which bear certain of our trademarks infringe upon their intellectual property rights and there can be no assurance that one or more of our products or marks will not be found to infringe upon third party intellectual property rights in the future.

Since one of our products constitutes a significant portion of our net sales, significant decreases in consumer demand for this product or our failure to produce a suitable replacement should we cease offering it would harm our financial condition and operating results.

For 2016, 2015 and 2014, our Formula 1 Healthy Meal, our best-selling product line, approximated 30% of our net sales. If consumer demand for this product decreases significantly or we cease offering this product without a suitable replacement, then our financial condition and operating results would be harmed.

If we lose the services of members of our senior management team, then our financial condition and operating results could be harmed.

We have depended, and will continue to depend, on the continued services of our senior management team as it works closely with the senior Member leadership to create an environment of inspiration, motivation and entrepreneurial business success. In November 2016, we announced that, effective June 1, 2017, Richard P. Goudis, our current Chief Operating Officer, will become the Chief Executive Officer of the Company and Michael O. Johnson, our current Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, will serve as Executive Chairman of the Company, consistent with a succession strategy plan previously approved by our board of directors. Any significant leadership change or senior management transition involves inherent risk and any failure to ensure a smooth transition could hinder our strategic planning, execution and future performance. While we strive to mitigate the negative impact associated with changes to our senior management team, there may be uncertainty among investors, employees, Members and others concerning our future direction and performance.  Any disruption in our operations or uncertainty could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition or results of operations.

Additionally, although we have entered into employment agreements with certain members of our senior management team, and do not believe that any of them are planning to leave or retire in the near term, we cannot assure you that our senior managers will remain with us. The loss or departure of any member of our senior management team could adversely impact our Member relations and operating results. If any of these executives do not remain with us, our business could suffer. Also, the loss of key personnel, including our regional and country managers, could negatively impact our ability to implement our business strategy, and our continued success will also be dependent on our ability to retain existing, and attract additional, qualified personnel to meet our needs. We currently do not maintain “key person” life insurance with respect to our senior management team.

Our international operations are subject to the laws and regulations of the United States and many foreign countries, including the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the U.K. Bribery Act, and other similar laws in a number of countries.

We are subject to a variety of laws regarding our international operations, including the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, or the FCPA, the U.K. Bribery Act of 2010, or the UK Bribery Act, and regulations issued by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, or OFAC, and various foreign governmental agencies. The FCPA, the UK Bribery Act and similar anti-bribery laws in other jurisdictions generally prohibit companies and their intermediaries from making

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improper payments for the purpose of obtaining or retaining business as well as requiring companies to maintain accurate books and records. In recent years there has been a substantial increase in anti-bribery law enforcement activity with more frequent and aggressive investigations and enforcement proceedings by both the Department of Justice and the SEC, increased enforcement activity by non-U.S. regulators and increases in criminal and civil proceedings brought against companies and individuals. Our policies mandate compliance with these anti-bribery laws, including the requirements to maintain accurate information and internal controls. We operate in many parts of the world that have experienced governmental corruption to some degree and in certain circumstances, strict compliance with anti-bribery laws may conflict with local customs and practices. Notwithstanding our compliance programs, which include annual training and certification requirements, there is no assurance that our internal control policies and procedures will protect us from acts committed by our employees or agents. Additionally, we cannot predict the nature, scope or effect of future regulatory requirements to which our international operations might be subject or the manner in which existing or new laws might be administered or interpreted. Alleged or actual violations of any such existing or future laws (either due to our own acts or our inadvertence, or due to the acts or inadvertence of others) may result in criminal or civil sanctions, including contract cancellations or debarment, and loss of reputation, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, and results of operations.

The United Kingdom’s vote to exit from the European Union could adversely impact us.

On June 23, 2016, in a referendum vote commonly referred to as “Brexit,” a majority of British voters voted to exit the European Union. Following the referendum, it is expected that the British government will initiate negotiations with the European Union to determine the terms of the U.K.’s exit. A withdrawal could potentially disrupt the free movement of goods, services and people between the U.K. and the European Union, undermine bilateral cooperation in key geographic areas and significantly disrupt trade between the U.K. and the European Union or other nations as the U.K. pursues independent trade relations. In addition, Brexit could lead to legal uncertainty and potentially divergent national laws and regulations as the U.K. determines which European Union laws to replace or replicate. The effects of Brexit will depend on any agreements the U.K. makes to retain access to European Union or other markets either during a transitional period or more permanently. It is unclear what long-term economic, financial, trade and legal implications the withdrawal of the U.K. from the European Union would have and how such withdrawal would affect our business globally and in the region. In addition, Brexit may lead other European Union member countries to consider referendums regarding their European Union membership. Any of these events, along with any political, economic and regulatory changes that may occur, could cause political and economic uncertainty in Europe and internationally and harm our business and financial results.

The covenants in our existing indebtedness limit our discretion with respect to certain business matters, which could limit our ability to pursue certain strategic objectives and in turn harm our financial condition and operating results.

Our credit facility contains financial and operating covenants that restrict our and our subsidiaries’ ability to, among other things:

 

pay dividends, redeem share capital or capital stock and make other restricted payments and investments;

 

incur or guarantee additional debt;

 

impose dividend or other distribution restrictions on our subsidiaries; and

 

create liens on our and our subsidiaries’ assets.

In addition, our credit facility requires us to meet certain financial ratios and financial conditions. Our ability to comply with these covenants may be affected by events beyond our control, including prevailing economic, financial and industry conditions. Failure to comply with these covenants could result in a default causing all amounts to become due and payable under our credit facility, which is secured by substantially all of our domestic assets, against which the lenders thereunder could proceed to foreclose.

We may use from time to time a certain amount of cash in order to satisfy the obligations relating to our convertible notes. The maturity or conversion of any of our convertible notes may adversely affect our financial condition and operating results, which could adversely affect the amount or timing of future potential share repurchases or the payment of dividends to our shareholders.

In February 2014, we issued convertible senior notes due on August 15, 2019, or the Convertible Notes, in the aggregate principal amount of $1.15 billion. At maturity, we will have to pay the holders of the Convertible Notes the full aggregate principal amount of the Convertible Notes then outstanding.

Holders of our Convertible Notes may convert their notes at their option under the following circumstances: (i) during any calendar quarter commencing after the calendar quarter ending March 31, 2014, if the last reported sale price of our common shares

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for at least 20 trading days (whether or not consecutive) in a period of 30 consecutive trading days ending on, and including, the last trading day of the immediately preceding calendar quarter exceeds 130% of the conversion price for the Convertible Notes on each applicable trading day; (ii) during the five business-day period immediately after any five consecutive trading day period, or the measurement period, in which the trading price per $1,000 principal amount of Convertible Notes for each trading day of that measurement period was less than 98% of the product of the last reported sale price of our common shares and the conversion rate for the Convertible Notes for each such day; or (iii) upon the occurrence of specified corporate events. On and after May 15, 2019, holders may convert their Convertible Notes at any time, regardless of the foregoing circumstances. The Convertible Notes are net-share settled. If one or more holders elect to convert their Convertible Notes when conversion is permitted, we could be required to make cash payments equal to the par amount of each Convertible Note, which could adversely affect our liquidity. In addition, even if holders do not elect to convert their Convertible Notes, because our Convertible Notes are net-share settled, we could be required under applicable accounting rules to reclassify all or a portion of the outstanding principal of our Convertible Notes as a current rather than long-term liability, which could result in a material reduction of our net working capital. The requirement to pay cash upon conversion of the Convertible Notes or any adverse accounting treatment of the Convertible Notes may adversely affect our financial condition and operating results, each of which could in turn adversely impact the amount or timing of future potential share repurchases or the payment of dividends to our shareholders.

The conversion of any of the Convertible Notes into common shares could have a dilutive effect that could cause our share price to go down.

The Convertible Notes, until May 15, 2019, are convertible into common shares only if specified conditions are met and thereafter convertible at any time, at the option of the holder. We have reserved common shares for issuance upon conversion of the Convertible Notes. Upon conversion, the principal amount is due in cash, and to the extent that the conversion value exceeds the principal amount, the difference is due in common shares. While we have entered into capped call transactions to effectively increase the conversion of the Convertible Notes and lessen the risk of dilution to shareholders upon conversion, if the market price of our common shares, as measured under the terms of the capped call transactions, exceeds the cap price of the capped call transactions, the number of our common shares we receive upon exercise of the capped call transactions will be capped. In that case, there would be dilution in respect of our common shares, because the number of our common shares or amounts of cash that we would owe upon conversion of the Convertible Notes in excess of the principal amount of converted Convertible Notes would exceed the number of common shares that we would be entitled to receive upon exercise of the capped call transactions, which would cause a dilutive effect that could cause our share price to go down. If any or all of the Convertible Notes are converted into common shares, our existing shareholders will experience immediate dilution of voting rights and our common share price may decline. Furthermore, the perception that such dilution could occur may cause the market price of our common shares to decline.

The conversion rate for the Convertible Notes as of February 7, 2014, the date of issuance thereof, was 11.5908 common shares per $1,000 principal amount or a conversion price of approximately $86.28 per common share. Because the conversion rate of the Convertible Notes adjusts upward upon the occurrence of certain events, such as a dividend payment, our existing shareholders may experience more dilution if any or all of the Convertible Notes are converted into common shares after the adjusted conversion rates became effective.

If we do not comply with transfer pricing, customs duties, VAT, and similar regulations, then we may be subjected to additional taxes, duties, interest and penalties in material amounts, which could harm our financial condition and operating results.

As a multinational corporation, operating in many countries including the United States, we are subject to transfer pricing and other tax regulations designed to ensure that our intercompany transactions are consummated at prices that have not been manipulated to produce a desired tax result, that appropriate levels of income are reported as earned by our United States or local entities, and that we are taxed appropriately on such transactions. In addition, our operations are subject to regulations designed to ensure that appropriate levels of customs duties are assessed on the importation of our products. We are currently subject to pending or proposed audits that are at various levels of review, assessment or appeal in a number of jurisdictions involving transfer pricing issues, income taxes, customs duties, value added taxes, withholding taxes, sales and use and other taxes and related interest and penalties in material amounts. In some circumstances, additional taxes, interest and penalties have been assessed and we will be required to pay the assessments or post surety, in order to challenge the assessments.

The imposition of new taxes, even pass-through taxes such as VAT, could have an impact on our perceived product pricing and will likely require that we increase prices in certain jurisdictions and therefore could have a potential negative impact on our business and results of operations. We have reserved in the consolidated financial statements an amount that we believe represents the most likely outcome of the resolution of these disputes, but if we are incorrect in our assessment we may have to pay the full amount asserted which could potentially be material. Ultimate resolution of these matters may take several years, and the outcome is uncertain. If the United States Internal Revenue Service or the taxing authorities of any other jurisdiction were to successfully challenge our transfer pricing practices or our positions regarding the payment of income taxes, customs duties, value added taxes,

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withholding taxes, sales and use, and other taxes, we could become subject to higher taxes, we may determine it is necessary to raise prices in certain jurisdictions accordingly and our revenue and earnings and our results of operations could be adversely affected.

See Note 7, Contingencies, to the Consolidated Financial Statements included in Item 15 of this Annual Report on Form 10-K for further information on contingencies relating to VAT and other related matters.

We could become a “controlled foreign corporation” for U.S. federal income tax purposes.

We believe that we are currently not a “controlled foreign corporation” for U.S. federal income tax purposes. However, this conclusion depends upon whether United States persons or entities who own 10% or more of the total combined voting power (10% shareholders”) own in the aggregate more than 50% of (i) the total combined voting power, or (ii) the total value of all our stock. In determining voting power, in addition to voting stock any special voting rights to appoint directors, whether by law, agreement or other arrangement, may also be taken into account. For purposes of applying the voting and value tests, certain constructive ownership rules apply, which attribute ownership among certain family members and certain entities and their owners. These rules may also attribute ownership of our stock to a person or entity that is entitled to acquire our stock pursuant to an option, such as the holders of our Convertible Notes. These constructive ownership rules are very complex and their application to specific circumstances is subject to uncertainty.

If we were to be or become a “controlled foreign corporation,” our 10% shareholders would be subject to special tax treatment. Any shareholders who contemplate owning 10% or more of our outstanding shares (taking into account the impact of any share repurchases we may undertake pursuant to share repurchase programs) are urged to consult with their tax advisors with respect to the special rules applicable to 10% shareholders of controlled foreign corporations.

Changes in tax laws, treaties or regulations, or their interpretation could adversely affect us.

A change in applicable tax laws, treaties or regulations or their interpretation could result in a higher effective tax rate on our worldwide earnings and such change could be significant to our financial results. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development has released guidance covering various international tax standards as part of its “base erosion and profit shifting” or “BEPS” initiative. The implementation of BEPS by jurisdictions in which we operate could result in changes to tax laws and regulations, including with respect to transfer pricing, that could materially increase our effective tax rate. Additionally, tax legislative proposals intending to eliminate some perceived tax advantages of companies that have legal domiciles outside the U.S. but have certain U.S. connections have repeatedly been introduced in the U.S. Congress. If these proposals are enacted, the result would increase our effective tax rate and could have a material adverse effect on the Company’s financial condition and results of operations.

We may be held responsible for certain taxes or assessments relating to the activities of our Members, which could harm our financial condition and operating results.

Our Members are subject to taxation, and in some instances, legislation or governmental agencies impose an obligation on us to collect taxes, such as value added taxes and social contributions, and to maintain appropriate records. In addition, we are subject to the risk in some jurisdictions of being responsible for social security, withholding or other taxes with respect to payments to our Members. In addition, in the event that local laws and regulations or the interpretation of local laws and regulations change to require us to treat our Members as employees, or that our Members are deemed by local regulatory authorities in one or more of the jurisdictions in which we operate to be our employees rather than independent contractors under existing laws and interpretations, we may be held responsible for social contributions, withholding and related taxes in those jurisdictions, plus any related assessments and penalties, which could harm our financial condition and operating results. See Note 7, Contingencies, to the Consolidated Financial Statements included in Item 15 of this Annual Report on Form 10-K for a more specific discussion of contingencies related to the activities of our Members.

We may incur material product liability claims, which could increase our costs and harm our financial condition and operating results.

Our ingestible products include vitamins, minerals and botanicals and other ingredients and are classified as foods or dietary supplements and are not subject to pre-market regulatory approval in the United States. Our products could contain contaminated substances, and some of our products contain some ingredients that do not have long histories of human consumption. We rely upon published and unpublished safety information including clinical studies on ingredients used in our products and conduct limited clinical studies on some key products but not all products. Previously unknown adverse reactions resulting from human consumption of these ingredients could occur. As a marketer of dietary and nutritional supplements and other products that are ingested by consumers or applied to their bodies, we have been, and may again be, subjected to various product liability claims, including that the products contain contaminants, the products include inadequate instructions as to their uses, or the products include inadequate

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warnings concerning side effects and interactions with other substances. It is possible that widespread product liability claims could increase our costs, and adversely affect our revenues and operating income. Moreover, liability claims arising from a serious adverse event may increase our costs through higher insurance premiums and deductibles, and may make it more difficult to secure adequate insurance coverage in the future. In addition, our product liability insurance may fail to cover future product liability claims, thereby requiring us to pay substantial monetary damages and adversely affecting our business. Finally, given the higher level of self-insured retentions that we have accepted under our current product liability insurance policies, which are as high as approximately $15 million, in certain cases we may be subject to the full amount of liability associated with any injuries, which could be substantial.

On February 6, 2004, the FDA banned the sale and use of dietary supplements containing botanical sources of ephedrine alkaloids. A number of jurisdictions have imposed similar bans or restrictions. Until late 2002, we had sold Thermojetics® original green herbal tablets, Thermojetics® green herbal tablets and Thermojetics® gold herbal tablets, all of which contained ephedrine alkaloids. Accordingly, we run the risk of product liability claims related to the ingestion of ephedrine alkaloids contained in those products. We have been in the past, and may be in the future, named as a defendant in product liability lawsuits seeking to link the ingestion of certain of the aforementioned products to subsequent alleged medical problems suffered by plaintiffs. There can be no assurance that we will prevail if we are named as a defendant in the future to product liability lawsuits related to the ingestion of ephedrine alkaloids contained in those products.

Holders of our common shares may face difficulties in protecting their interests because we are incorporated under Cayman Islands law.

Our corporate affairs are governed by our amended and restated memorandum and articles of association, by the Companies Law (2016 Revision), or the Companies Law, and the common law of the Cayman Islands. The rights of our shareholders and the fiduciary responsibilities of our directors under Cayman Islands law are not as clearly established as under statutes or judicial precedent in existence in jurisdictions in the United States. Therefore, shareholders may have more difficulty in protecting their interests in the face of actions by our management or board of directors than would shareholders of a corporation incorporated in a jurisdiction in the United States due to the comparatively less developed nature of Cayman Islands law in this area.

Shareholders of Cayman Islands exempted companies such as Herbalife have no general rights under Cayman Islands law to inspect corporate records and accounts or to obtain copies of lists of our shareholders. Our directors have discretion under our articles of association to determine whether or not, and under what conditions, our corporate records may be inspected by our shareholders, but are not obliged to make them available to our shareholders. This may make it more difficult for you to obtain the information needed to establish any facts necessary for a shareholder motion or to solicit proxies from other shareholders in connection with a proxy contest.

A shareholder can bring a suit personally where its individual rights have been, or are about to be, infringed. Our Cayman Islands counsel, Maples and Calder, is not aware of any reported class action having been brought in a Cayman Islands court. Derivative actions have been brought in the Cayman Islands courts, and the Cayman Islands courts have confirmed the availability of such actions. In most cases, we would be the proper plaintiff where an action is brought to redress any loss or damage suffered by us, or based on a breach of duty owed to us, and a claim against, for example, our officers or directors usually may not be brought by a shareholder. However, based on English authorities, which would in all likelihood be of persuasive authority and be applied by a court in the Cayman Islands, exceptions to the foregoing principle may apply and a shareholder may be permitted to bring a claim derivatively on a company's behalf, where:

 

a company is acting or proposing to act illegally or outside the scope of its corporate authority;

 

the act complained of, although not acting outside the scope of its corporate authority, could be effected only if authorized by more than a simple majority vote; or

 

those who control the company are perpetrating a “fraud on the minority”.

Provisions of our articles of association and Cayman Islands corporate law may impede a takeover or make it more difficult for shareholders to change the direction or management of the Company, which could reduce shareholders’ opportunity to influence management of the Company.

Our articles of association permit our board of directors to issue preference shares from time to time, with such rights and preferences as they consider appropriate. Our board of directors could authorize the issuance of preference shares with terms and conditions and under circumstances that could have an effect of discouraging a takeover or other transaction.

In addition, our articles of association contain certain other provisions which could have an effect of discouraging a takeover or other transaction or preventing or making it more difficult for shareholders to change the direction or management of our Company,

31


 

including the inability of shareholders to act by written consent, a limitation on the ability of shareholders to call special meetings of shareholders and advance notice provisions. As a result, our shareholders may have less input into the management of our Company than they might otherwise have if these provisions were not included in our articles of association.

The Cayman Islands have provisions under the Companies Law to facilitate mergers and consolidations between Cayman Islands companies and non-Cayman Islands companies. These provisions, contained within Part XVI of the Companies Law, are broadly similar to the merger provisions as provided for under Delaware Law.

There are however a number of important differences that could impede a takeover. First, the threshold for approval of the merger plan by shareholders is higher. The threshold is a special resolution of the shareholders (being 66 2/3% of those present in person or by proxy and voting) together with such other authorization, if any, as may be specified in the articles of association.

Additionally, the consent of each holder of a fixed or floating security interest (in essence a documented security interest as opposed to one arising by operation of law) is required to be obtained unless the Grand Court of the Cayman Islands waives such requirement.

The merger provisions contained within Part XVI of the Companies Law do contain shareholder appraisal rights similar to those provided for under Delaware law. Such rights are limited to a merger under Part XVI and do not apply to schemes of arrangement as discussed below.

The Companies Law also contains separate statutory provisions that provide for the merger, reconstruction and amalgamation of companies. These are commonly referred to in the Cayman Islands as “schemes of arrangement.”

The procedural and legal requirements necessary to consummate these transactions are more rigorous and take longer to complete than the procedures typically required to consummate a merger in the United States. Under Cayman Islands law and practice, a scheme of arrangement in relation to a solvent Cayman Islands company must be approved at a shareholders’ meeting by a majority of each class of the company’s shareholders who are present and voting (either in person or by proxy) at such meeting. The shares voted in favor of the scheme of arrangement must also represent at least 75% of the value of each relevant class of the company’s shareholders present and voting at the meeting. The convening of these meetings and the terms of the amalgamation must also be sanctioned by the Grand Court of the Cayman Islands. Although there is no requirement to seek the consent of the creditors of the parties involved in the scheme of arrangement, the Grand Court typically seeks to ensure that the creditors have consented to the transfer of their liabilities to the surviving entity or that the scheme of arrangement does not otherwise materially adversely affect creditors’ interests. Furthermore, the court will only approve a scheme of arrangement if it is satisfied that:

 

the statutory provisions as to majority vote have been complied with;

 

the shareholders who voted at the meeting in question fairly represent the relevant class of shareholders to which they belong;

 

the scheme of arrangement is such as a businessman would reasonably approve; and

 

the scheme of arrangement is not one that would more properly be sanctioned under some other provision of the Companies Law.

If the scheme of arrangement is approved, the dissenting shareholder would have no rights comparable to appraisal rights, which would otherwise ordinarily be available to dissenting shareholders of U.S. corporations, providing rights to receive payment in cash for the judicially determined value of the shares.

In addition, if an offer by a third party to purchase shares in us has been approved by the holders of at least 90% of our outstanding shares (not including such a third party) pursuant to an offer within a four-month period of making such an offer, the purchaser may, during the two months following expiration of the four-month period, require the holders of the remaining shares to transfer their shares on the same terms on which the purchaser acquired the first 90% of our outstanding shares. An objection can be made to the Grand Court of the Cayman Islands, but this is unlikely to succeed unless there is evidence of fraud, bad faith, collusion or inequitable treatment of the shareholders.

32


 

There is uncertainty as to shareholders’ ability to enforce certain foreign civil liabilities in the Cayman Islands.

We are incorporated as an exempted company with limited liability under the laws of the Cayman Islands. A material portion of our assets are located outside of the United States. As a result, it may be difficult for our shareholders to enforce judgments against us or judgments obtained in U.S. courts predicated upon the civil liability provisions of the federal securities laws of the United States or any state of the United States.

We have been advised by our Cayman Islands counsel, Maples and Calder, that although there is no statutory enforcement in the Cayman Islands of judgments obtained in the United States, the courts of the Cayman Islands will — based on the principle that a judgment by a competent foreign court imposes upon the judgment debtor an obligation to pay the sum for which judgment has been given — recognize and enforce a foreign judgment of a court of competent jurisdiction if such judgment is final, for a liquidated sum, not in respect of taxes or a fine or penalty, is not inconsistent with a Cayman Islands judgment in respect of the same matters, and was not obtained in a manner, and is not of a kind, the enforcement of which is contrary to natural justice or the public policy of the Cayman Islands. There is doubt, however, as to whether the Grand Court of the Cayman Islands will (1) recognize or enforce judgments of U.S. courts predicated upon the civil liability provisions of the federal securities laws of the United States or any state of the United States, or (2) in original actions brought in the Cayman Islands, impose liabilities predicated upon the civil liability provisions of the federal securities laws of the United States or any state of the United States, on the grounds that such provisions are penal in nature.

The Grand Court of the Cayman Islands may stay proceedings if concurrent proceedings are being brought elsewhere.

Our stock price may be adversely affected by third parties who raise allegations about our Company.

Short sellers and others who raise allegations regarding the legality of our business activities, some of whom are positioned to profit if our stock declines, can negatively affect our stock price. In late 2012, a hedge fund manager publicly raised allegations regarding the legality of our network marketing program and announced that his fund had taken a significant short position regarding our common shares, leading to intense public scrutiny and significant stock price volatility. Following this public announcement in December 2012, our stock price dropped significantly. This hedge fund manager continues to make allegations regarding the legality of our network marketing program, our product safety, our accounting practices and other matters. Additionally, from time to time the Company is subject to governmental and regulatory inquiries and inquiries from legislators that may adversely affect our stock price. Our stock price has continued to exhibit heightened volatility and the short interest in our common shares continues to remain high. Short sellers expect to make a profit if our common shares decline in value, and their actions and their public statements may cause further volatility in our share price. While a number of traders have publicly announced that they have taken long positions contrary to the hedge fund shorting our shares, the existence of such a significant short interest position and the related publicity may lead to continued volatility. The volatility of our stock may cause the value of a shareholder’s investment to decline rapidly.

 

 

Item 1B.

UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS

None.

Item 2.

PROPERTIES

As of December 31, 2016, we leased the majority of our physical properties. We currently lease approximately 128,000 square feet in downtown Los Angeles, California, including our corporate executive offices located in the LA Live complex, with terms expiring in 2018 and 2019. We also lease approximately 190,000 square feet, with the lease term expiring in 2021, and own approximately 110,000 square feet of general office space in Torrance, California, for our North America and South America regional headquarters, including some of our corporate support functions. Additionally, we lease distribution center facilities in Los Angeles, California and Memphis, Tennessee of approximately 255,000 square feet and 259,000 square feet, respectively. The Los Angeles and Memphis lease agreements have terms through July 2021 and January 2023, respectively. In Lake Forest, California, we also lease warehouse, manufacturing plant and office space of approximately 123,000 square feet under leases expiring in 2019 and 2020. In Venray, Netherlands, we lease our European centralized warehouse of approximately 257,000 square feet under an arrangement expiring in June 2020 for which we have a renewal option. In Guadalajara, Mexico, we lease approximately 140,000 square feet of office space with the term of the lease expiring in January 2018. In Changsha, Hunan, China we are leasing our botanical extraction facility of approximately 178,000 square feet with the term expected to expire in December 2022. In Suzhou, China we are leasing our manufacturing facilities and warehouse facilities of approximately 81,000 square feet and 60,000 square feet, respectively, under leases expiring in September 2017 and October 2019, respectively. In Nanjing, China, we are leasing an additional manufacturing facility of approximately 372,000 square feet under a lease expiring in June 2025.

33


 

We own a manufacturing facility in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The manufacturing facility contains approximately 800,000 square feet of manufacturing and office space. See Item 1 — Business for further discussion of the manufacturing facility purchased in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

In addition to the properties noted above, we also lease other warehouse, manufacturing and office buildings in a majority of our other geographic areas of operation. We believe that our existing facilities are adequate to meet our current requirements and that comparable space is readily available at each of these locations.

Item 3.

LEGAL PROCEEDINGS

The information set forth under Note 7, Contingencies, to the Consolidated Financial Statements included in Item 15 of this Annual Report on Form 10-K, is incorporated herein by reference.

Item 4.

MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURE

Not applicable.

 

 

34


 

PART II

Item 5.

MARKET FOR REGISTRANT’S COMMON EQUITY, RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS AND ISSUER PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES

Information with Respect to our Common Shares

Our common shares are listed on the New York Stock Exchange, or NYSE, and trade under the symbol “HLF.” The following table sets forth the range of the high and low sales prices for our common shares in each of the fiscal quarters presented, based upon quotations on the NYSE consolidated transaction reporting system.

 

 

Quarter Ended

 

High

 

 

Low

 

March 31, 2016

 

$

63.59

 

 

$

42.26

 

June 30, 2016

 

$

66.26

 

 

$

54.00

 

September 30, 2016

 

$

72.22

 

 

$

57.05

 

December 31, 2016

 

$

64.38

 

 

$

47.62

 

 

Quarter Ended

 

High

 

 

Low

 

March 31, 2015

 

$

48.55

 

 

$

27.60

 

June 30, 2015

 

$

55.86

 

 

$

39.51

 

September 30, 2015

 

$

61.95

 

 

$

47.17

 

December 31, 2015

 

$

59.50

 

 

$

51.77

 

 

The market price of our common shares is subject to fluctuations in response to variations in our quarterly operating results, general trends in the market for our products and product candidates, economic and currency exchange issues in the foreign markets in which we operate as well as other factors, many of which are not within our control. In addition, broad market fluctuations, as well as general economic, business and political conditions may adversely affect the market for our common shares, regardless of our actual or projected performance.

35


 

The closing price of our common shares on February 16, 2017, was $61.06. The approximate number of holders of record of our common shares as of February 16, 2017 was 618. This number of holders of record does not represent the actual number of beneficial owners of our common shares because shares are frequently held in “street name” by securities dealers and others for the benefit of individual owners who have the right to vote their shares.

Performance Graph

Set forth below is information comparing the cumulative total shareholder return and share price appreciation plus dividends on our common shares with the cumulative total return of the S&P 500 Index and a market weighted index of publicly traded peers over the five year period ended December 31, 2016. The graph assumes that $100 is invested in each of our common shares, the S&P 500 Index and the index of publicly traded peers on December 31, 2011 and that all dividends were reinvested. The publicly traded companies in the peer group are Avon Products, Inc., Nature’s Sunshine Products, Inc., Tupperware Corporation, Nu Skin Enterprises Inc., USANA Health Sciences Inc., Weight Watchers International, Inc. and Mannatech, Inc.

 

 

12/31/11

 

12/31/12

 

12/31/13

 

12/31/14

 

12/31/15

 

12/31/16

 

Herbalife Ltd.

$

100.00

 

$

65.28

 

$

159.69

 

$

76.84

 

$

109.29

 

$

98.12

 

S&P 500 Index

$

100.00

 

$

116.00

 

$

153.57

 

$

174.60

 

$

177.01

 

$

198.18

 

Peer Index

$

100.00

 

$

93.02

 

$

146.31

 

$

82.01

 

$

65.05

 

$

67.50

 

 

Information with Respect to Dividends

During the second quarter of 2007, our board of directors adopted a regular quarterly cash dividend program. Our board of directors authorized a $0.10 per common share dividend each quarter from the adoption of the program through the second quarter of 2010. On August 2, 2010, our board of directors approved an increase in the quarterly cash dividend to $0.13 per common share, an increase of $0.03 per common share from prior quarters. On May 2, 2011, we announced that our board of directors approved an increase in the quarterly cash dividend to $0.20 per common share, an increase of $0.07 per common share from prior quarters. On February 21, 2012, we announced that our board of directors approved an increase in the quarterly cash dividend to $0.30 per common share, an increase of $0.10 per common share from prior quarters. On April 28, 2014, we announced that our board of directors approved terminating our quarterly cash dividend and instead utilizing the cash to repurchase additional common shares. There were no dividends paid and declared during fiscal year 2016 and 2015. The aggregate amount of dividends paid and declared during fiscal year 2014 was approximately $30.4 million.

The declaration of future dividends is subject to the discretion of our board of directors and will depend upon various factors, including our earnings, financial condition, Herbalife Ltd.’s available distributable reserves under Cayman Islands law, restrictions imposed by our credit facility entered into on March 9, 2011, as amended, or the Credit Facility and the terms of any other indebtedness that may be outstanding, cash requirements, future prospects and other factors deemed relevant by our board of directors. The Credit Facility permits payments of dividends up to a specified cap and as long as no default or event of default exists and the consolidated leverage ratio specified in the Credit Facility is not exceeded. See Note 4, Long-Term Debt, to the Consolidated Financial Statements for a further discussion on dividend restrictions.

36


 

Information with Respect to Securities Authorized for Issuance Under Equity Compensation Plans

The following table sets forth as of December 31, 2016, information with respect to (a) number of securities to be issued upon exercise of outstanding options, warrants and rights, (b) the weighted-average exercise price of outstanding options, warrants and rights and (c) the number of securities remaining available for future issuance under equity compensation plans.

 

 

 

Number of Securities

to be Issued

Upon Exercise of

Outstanding Options,

Warrants and Rights

(3)

 

 

Weighted Average

Exercise Price of

Outstanding Options,

Warrants and  Rights

 

 

Number of Securities

Remaining Available for

Future Issuance  Under

Equity Compensation Plans

(Excluding Securities

in Column (a))(2)

 

 

 

(a)

 

 

(b)

 

 

(c)

 

Equity compensation plans approved by

   security holders(1)

 

 

3,263,284

 

 

 

$41.52

 

 

 

7,214,591

 

Equity compensation plans not approved by

   security holders

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total

 

 

3,263,284

 

 

 

$41.52

 

 

 

7,214,591

 

 

(1)

Consists of four plans: The Amended and Restated Herbalife Ltd. 2005 Stock Incentive Plan, the Amended and Restated Herbalife Ltd. 2014 Stock Incentive Plan, the Amended and Restated Herbalife Ltd. Independent Directors Deferred Compensation and Stock Unit Plan, and the Amended and Restated Non-Management Directors Compensation Plan. In February 2008, a shareholder approved Employee Stock Purchase Plan was implemented. The terms of these plans are summarized in Note 9, Share-Based Compensation, to the Consolidated Financial Statements.

(2)

Includes 1.7 million common shares available for future issuance under the shareholder approved Employee Stock Purchase Plan which was implemented in February 2008.

(3)

Number of securities to be issued upon exercise of stock appreciation rights was calculated using the market price at December 31, 2016.

Information with Respect to Purchases of Equity Securities by the Issuer

On July 30, 2012, we announced that our board of directors authorized a new $1 billion share repurchase program that will expire on June 30, 2017. On February 3, 2014, we announced that our board of directors authorized an increase in the existing share repurchase authorization to an available balance of $1.5 billion. This repurchase program allows us to repurchase our common shares, at such times and prices as determined by our management as market conditions warrant, and to the extent Herbalife Ltd.’s distributable reserves are available under Cayman Islands law. As of December 31, 2016, the Credit Facility permits us to repurchase our common shares up to a specified cap and as long as no default or event of default exists and the consolidated leverage ratio specified in the Credit Facility is not exceeded. See Note 4, Long-Term Debt, to the Consolidated Financial Statements for a further discussion on share repurchase restrictions and Note 15, Subsequent Events, to the Consolidated Financial Statements for further information on our new senior secured credit facility and our new share repurchase program.

We did not repurchase any common shares in the open market during the year ended December 31, 2016. As of December 31, 2016, the remaining authorized capacity under our share repurchase program was approximately $232.9 million.

 

 

37


 

Item 6.

SELECTED FINANCIAL DATA

The following table sets forth certain of our historical financial data. We have derived the selected historical consolidated financial data for the years ended December 31, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, and 2012 from our consolidated financial statements and the related notes. Not all periods shown below are discussed in this Annual Report on Form 10-K. The selected consolidated historical financial data set forth below are not necessarily indicative of the results of future operations and should be read in conjunction with the discussion under Item 7 — Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations, and the historical consolidated financial statements and accompanying notes included elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

 

 

 

Year Ended December 31,

 

 

 

2016

 

 

2015

 

 

2014

 

 

2013

 

 

2012

 

 

 

(In millions except per share data)

 

Income Statement Data:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Net sales

 

$

4,488.4

 

 

$

4,469.0

 

 

$

4,958.6

 

 

$

4,825.3

 

 

$

4,072.3

 

Cost of sales

 

 

854.6

 

 

 

856.0

 

 

 

982.9

 

 

 

963.4

 

 

 

812.6

 

Gross profit

 

 

3,633.8

 

 

 

3,613.0

 

 

 

3,975.7

 

 

 

3,861.9

 

 

 

3,259.7

 

Royalty overrides

 

 

1,272.6

 

 

 

1,251.4

 

 

 

1,471.1

 

 

 

1,497.5

 

 

 

1,338.6

 

Selling, general and administrative expenses

 

 

1,966.9

 

 

 

1,784.5

 

 

 

1,991.1

 

 

 

1,629.1

 

 

 

1,259.7

 

Other operating income

 

 

(63.8

)

 

 

(6.5

)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Operating income

 

 

458.1

 

 

 

583.6

 

 

 

513.5

 

 

 

735.3

 

 

 

661.4

 

Interest expense, net

 

 

93.4

 

 

 

94.9

 

 

 

79.2

 

 

 

18.6

 

 

 

10.5

 

Other expense, net

 

 

 

 

 

2.3

 

 

 

13.0

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Income before income taxes

 

 

364.7

 

 

 

486.4

 

 

 

421.3

 

 

 

716.7

 

 

 

650.9

 

Income taxes

 

 

104.7

 

 

 

147.3

 

 

 

112.6

 

 

 

189.2

 

 

 

186.9

 

Net income

 

$

260.0

 

 

$

339.1

 

 

$

308.7

 

 

$

527.5

 

 

$

464.0

 

Earnings per share

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Basic

 

$

3.13

 

 

$

4.11

 

 

$

3.58

 

 

$

5.14

 

 

$

4.13

 

Diluted

 

$

3.02

 

 

$

3.97

 

 

$

3.40

 

 

$

4.91

 

 

$

3.94

 

Weighted average shares outstanding

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Basic

 

 

83.0

 

 

 

82.6

 

 

 

86.3

 

 

 

102.6

 

 

 

112.4

 

Diluted

 

 

86.1

 

 

 

85.3

 

 

 

90.8

 

 

 

107.4

 

 

 

117.9

 

Other Financial Data:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Retail sales(1)

 

$

7,119.8

 

 

$

6,994.4

 

 

$

7,843.0

 

 

$

7,514.0

 

 

$

6,404.3

 

Net cash provided by (used in):

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Operating activities

 

 

367.3

 

 

 

628.7

 

 

 

511.4

 

 

 

772.9

 

 

 

567.8

 

Investing activities

 

 

(141.3

)

 

 

(73.4

)

 

 

(201.3

)

 

 

(150.8

)

 

 

(125.0

)

Financing activities

 

 

(252.3

)

 

 

(250.0

)

 

 

(389.5

)

 

 

30.7

 

 

 

(371.2

)

Depreciation and amortization

 

 

98.3

 

 

 

98.0

 

 

 

93.2

 

 

 

84.7

 

 

 

74.4

 

Capital expenditures(2)

 

 

144.3

 

 

 

79.1

 

 

 

156.7

 

 

 

162.5

 

 

 

122.8

 

Balance Sheet Data:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cash and cash equivalents

 

$

844.0

 

 

$

889.8

 

 

$

645.4

 

 

$

973.0

 

 

$

333.5

 

Receivables, net

 

 

70.3

 

 

 

69.9

 

 

 

83.6

 

 

 

100.3

 

 

 

116.1

 

Inventories

 

 

371.3

 

 

 

332.0

 

 

 

377.7

 

 

 

351.2

 

 

 

339.4

 

Total working capital

 

 

671.0

 

 

 

541.9

 

 

 

518.6

 

 

 

720.8

 

 

 

221.7

 

Total assets

 

 

2,565.4

 

 

 

2,477.9

 

 

 

2,355.0

 

 

 

2,471.3

 

 

 

1,720.3

 

Total debt

 

 

1,447.9

 

 

 

1,622.0

 

 

 

1,791.8

 

 

 

928.9

 

 

 

483.8

 

Shareholders’ equity (deficit)(3)

 

 

196.3

 

 

 

(53.5

)

 

 

(334.4

)

 

 

551.4

 

 

 

395.5

 

Cash dividends per common share

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

0.30

 

 

 

1.20

 

 

 

1.20

 

 

(1)

Retail sales represent the gross sales amount reflected on our invoices to our Members and are based on suggested retail prices. Retail sales is not a measure in accordance with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) and may not be comparable to similarly-titled measures used by other companies. We do not receive the full retail sales amount. “Product sales” represent the actual product purchase price paid to us by our Members, after giving effect to all discounts provided to our Members referred to as “distributor allowances.” “Net sales” represents product sales and shipping & handling revenues.

 

38


 

Retail sales data as a Non-GAAP measure is discussed in greater detail in Item 7 — Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations. We discuss retail sales because of its fundamental role in our systems, internal controls and operations, and its correlation to Member discounts and Royalty Overrides. In addition, retail sales is a component of the financial reports we use to analyze our financial results.

The following represents the reconciliation of retail sales to net sales for each of the periods set forth above:

 

 

 

Year Ended December 31,

 

 

 

2016

 

 

2015

 

 

2014

 

 

2013

 

 

2012

 

 

 

(In millions)

 

Retail sales

 

$

7,119.8

 

 

$

6,994.4

 

 

$

7,843.0

 

 

$

7,514.0

 

 

$

6,404.3

 

Distributor allowance

 

 

(2,875.6

)

 

 

(2,807.9

)

 

 

(3,275.8

)

 

 

(3,313.3

)

 

 

(2,927.4

)

Product sales

 

 

4,244.2

 

 

 

4,186.5

 

 

 

4,567.2

 

 

 

4,200.7

 

 

 

3,476.9

 

Shipping & handling revenues

 

 

244.2

 

 

 

282.5

 

 

 

391.4

 

 

 

624.6

 

 

 

595.4

 

Net sales

 

$

4,488.4

 

 

$

4,469.0

 

 

$

4,958.6

 

 

$

4,825.3

 

 

$

4,072.3

 

 

(2)

Includes accrued capital expenditures. See the Consolidated Statement of Cash Flows for capital expenditures paid in cash during the years ended December 31, 2016, 2015, and 2014.

(3)

We did not pay any dividends or repurchase any of our common shares through open market purchases during the years ended December 31, 2016 and 2015. During the years ended December 31, 2014, 2013, and 2012, we paid an aggregate $30.4 million, $123.1 million, and $135.1 million in dividends, respectively, and repurchased $1,267.1 million, $297.4 million, and $527.8 million of our common shares, respectively, through open market purchases, the Repurchase Agreement, and the Forward Transactions. The Repurchase Agreement and the Forward Transactions are discussed in greater detail in Item 7 — Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations.

 

 

39


 

Item 7.

MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS

The following discussion and analysis of our financial condition and results of operations should be read in conjunction with Item 6 — Selected Financial Data and our consolidated financial statements and related notes, each included elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

We are a global nutrition company that sells weight management, targeted nutrition, energy, sports & fitness, and outer nutrition products to and through independent members, or Members. In China, we sell our products to and through independent service providers, sales representatives, and sales officers to customers and preferred customers, as well as through Company-operated retail stores when necessary. We refer to Members that distribute our products and achieve certain qualification requirements as “sales leaders.”

We pursue our mission of “changing people’s lives” by providing high quality, science-based products to Members and their customers who seek a healthy lifestyle and we also offer a business opportunity to those Members who seek additional income. We believe the global obesity epidemic has made our quality products more relevant and the effectiveness of our distribution network, coupled with geographic expansion, have been the primary reasons for our success throughout our 37-year operating history.

Our products are grouped in four principal categories: weight management; targeted nutrition; energy, sports & fitness; and outer nutrition, along with literature and promotional items. Our products are often sold through a series of related products and literature designed to simplify weight management and nutrition for consumers and maximize our Members’ cross-selling opportunities.

Industry-wide factors that affect us and our competitors include the global obesity epidemic, the aging of the worldwide population and rising public health care costs, which are driving demand for weight management, nutrition and wellness-related products along with the global increase in under employment and unemployment which can affect the recruitment and retention of Members seeking additional income opportunities.

While we continue to monitor the current global financial environment, we remain focused on the opportunities and challenges in retailing of our products, recruiting and retaining Members, improving Member productivity, further penetrating existing markets, opening new markets, globalizing successful Distributor Methods of Operation, or DMOs, such as Nutrition Clubs and Weight Loss Challenges, introducing new products and globalizing existing products, developing niche market segments and further investing in our infrastructure. Management also continues to monitor the Venezuelan market and especially the limited ability to repatriate cash.

We report revenue from our six regions:

 

North America;

 

Mexico;

 

South and Central America;

 

EMEA, which consists of Europe, the Middle East and Africa;

 

Asia Pacific (excluding China); and

 

China.

On July 15, 2016, we reached a settlement with the FTC and entered into a proposed Stipulation to Entry of Order for Permanent Injunction and Monetary Judgment, or the Consent Order, which resolved the FTC’s multi-year investigation of the Company. The Consent Order became effective on July 25, 2016, or the Effective Date, upon final approval by the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. Pursuant to the Consent Order, we agreed to implement certain new procedures and enhance certain existing procedures in the U.S., most of which we will have 10 months from the Effective Date to implement. Among other requirements, the Consent Order requires us to categorize all existing and future Members in the U.S. as either “preferred members” - who are simply consumers who only wish to purchase product for their own household use, or “distributors” - who are Members who wish to resell some products or build a sales organization.  Although not required until May 2017, in October 2016 we initiated the process of allowing existing Members in the U.S. to affirmatively elect to be classified as either preferred members or as independent distributors. We also agreed to compensate distributors on U.S. retail sales within their downline organizations, which include purchases by preferred members, purchases by a distributor for his or her personal consumption within allowable limits and sales of product by a distributor to his or her customers.  The Consent Order also requires distributors to meet certain conditions before opening Nutrition Clubs and/or entering into leases for their Herbalife business in the United States. The Consent Order also prohibits the Company from making expressly or by implication, any representation regarding the amount or level of income, including full-time or part-time income, that a

40


 

participant can reasonably expect to earn in the Company’s network marketing program, unless the representation is non-misleading and the Company possesses competent and reliable evidence sufficient to substantiate that the representation is true.  

We intend to monitor the impact of the Consent Order regularly and our Board of Directors has established the Implementation Oversight Committee in connection with the Consent Order. The committee has met and will meet regularly with management to oversee our compliance with the terms of the Consent Order. While we currently do not expect the settlement to have a long-term and materially adverse impact on our business and our Member base, our business and our Member base, particularly in the U.S., may be negatively impacted as we and they adjust to the changes. The terms of the settlement do not change our going to market through direct selling by independent distributors, and compensating those distributors based upon the product they and their sales organization sell. We were at the time of the settlement, and are now, in the process of implementing many of the new and enhanced procedures; however, the terms of the settlement and the costs to comply therewith could adversely affect our business operations, our results of operations and our financial condition. See Item 1A – Risk Factors of this Annual Report on Form 10-K for a discussion of risks related to the settlement with the FTC.

Volume Points by Geographic Region

A key non-financial measure we focus on is Volume Points on a Royalty Basis, or Volume Points, which is essentially our weighted-average measure of product sales volume. Volume Points, which are unaffected by exchange rates or price changes, are used by management as a proxy for sales trends because in general, excluding the impact of price changes, an increase in Volume Points in a particular geographic region or country indicates an increase in our local currency net sales while a decrease in Volume Points in a particular geographic region or country indicates a decrease in our local currency net sales.

We assign a Volume Point value to a product when it is first introduced into a market and the value is unaffected by subsequent exchange rate and price changes. The specific number of Volume Points assigned to a product, and generally consistent across all markets, is based on a Volume Point to suggested retail price ratio for similar products. If a product is available in different quantities, the various sizes will have different Volume Point values. In general, once assigned, a Volume Point value is consistent in each region and country and does not change from year to year. The reason Volume Points are used in the manner described above is that we use Volume Points for Member qualification and recognition purposes and therefore we attempt to keep Volume Points for a similar or like product consistent on a global basis. However, because Volume Points are a function of value rather than product type or size, they are not a reliable measure for product mix. As an example, an increase in Volume Points in a specific country or region could mean a significant increase in sales of less expensive products or a marginal increase in sales of more expensive products.

 

 

 

For the Year Ended December 31,

 

 

 

2016

 

 

2015

 

 

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