SEC examining Nikola over short seller’s fraud allegations

16 Septembre, 2020, 04:05 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • SEC to investigate short seller’s claims against Nikola, report says

The tussle has prompted the SEC to examine Hindenburg's claims to determine whether Nikola may have violated securities laws, said the people who asked not to be named because the inquiry isn't public. The stock fell as much as 11% Monday after the company issued a lengthier rebuttal to a September 10 report from Hindenburg Research, only to turn higher and finish up 11%.

Nikola's company statement provided to Seeking Alpha: "On September 11, Nikola's legal counsel proactively contacted and briefed the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission regarding Nikola's concerns pertaining to the Hindenburg report".

Questions arose after Hindenburg Research published a report alleging "intricate fraud" at the company, which it alleged misled investors over its technologies. Following each of the points that Nikola denies or explains, the company placed this statement: "These allegations by the short seller are false and misleading, and created to manipulate the market to profit from a manufactured decline in Nikola's stock price".

Nikola has encouraged the SEC to get involved.

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SEC spokeswoman Judith Burns declined to comment.

Hindenburg had shorted the stock last week and said it had gathered enough evidence to show Nikola founder Trevor Milton made false statements about possessing proprietary technology to form partnerships with large automakers.

At the time, a Nikola spokesperson said the report was "filled with misinformation" created to benefit Hindenburg's short bet, while Milton called it a "hit job" while promising a more detailed response to the allegations. In Nikola's response to "set the record straight," it claims that elements of its Nikola One proof of concept were functional, including the batteries, gearbox and inverters, but admits it never did the work to make that model capable of driving under its own propulsion.

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