Short seller Hindenburg Research has released a report on electric truck manufacturer Nikola Inc.
Thursday, accusing it of being a “tangled fraud” built on the lies told by its founder and executive chairman Trevor Milton over many years. Shares of Nikola fell 9% on the news. “We collected extensive evidence, including recorded phone calls, text messages, private emails and behind-the-scenes photographs, detailing dozens of misrepresentations by Nikola founder Trevor Milton,”
; the report said. “We have never seen this level of deception in a public company, especially of this size.” Nikola deceived the partners by making false claims about the company’s technology, including its hydrogen fuel cell batteries, which Hindenburg says never existed. The company is now planning to use General Motors Co. battery technology after signing a deal with GM this week, under which it will issue $ 2 billion in new shares to GM. “Nikola has been reviewed by some of the world’s most credible companies and investors,” a spokesperson said in emailed comments. “We are on track to success and will not falter on the basis of a report full of misleading information attempting to manipulate our actions.”