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Carl Icahn, left, and William Ackman.STAFF/Reuters

Investor Carl Icahn can't figure out if activist investor Bill Ackman is the most sanctimonious man he's met, or the most arrogant. Either way, it's clear the two loudmouth billionaires won't be friends any time soon.

On Friday, they made their mutual dislike for each other public when they called in for a CNBC TV interview-cum-sparring match.

The main conflict centres around the nutritional company Herbalife, on which both have placed bets. Mr. Ackman is short the stock and calls it a pyramid scheme. Herbalife denied these claims. Mr. Icahn then reportedly took a position in the company as shares were rebounding. He said Mr. Ackman's hedge fund Pershing Square Capital Management had engaged in market manipulation.

But after Friday's squabble it's clear that both investors had pent up frustrations relating back to a bond insurance company, MBIA Inc. and a dispute over $4.5-million. Mr. Icahn said Friday that he's "really sorta of had it with this Ackman guy" now, and wouldn't have an investment with him if even if he was paid to do it.

Mr. Ackman spat barbs of his own. "Carl Icahn does not have a good reputation as a handshake guy," he said. He accused Mr. Icahn of either having a poor memory, or trouble telling the truth. "He's not used to someone standing up to him," Mr. Ackman said.

Near the end of the half-hour exchange between the investors, Mr. Ackman praised Mr. Icahn for making money on Herbalife's stock rebound (information he said was leaked from inside Mr. Icahn's firm), but insisted the company was bad for investors long term.

Mr. Icahn's own opinion couldn't be more clear: "As far as I'm concerned the guy is a major loser."

The full billionaire showdown can be seen on CNBC's website.

Jacqueline Nelson is a Globe and Mail Financial Services Reporter.