Short seller Hindenburg Research published a report on electric truck maker Nikola Inc. (NAS:NKLA) on Thursday, accusing it of being an "intricate fraud" built on lies told by its Founder and Executive Chairman Trevor Milton over many years. Nikola shares fell 9% on the news. "We have gathered extensive evidence-including recorded phone calls, text messages, private emails and behind-the-scenes photographs-detailing dozens of false statements by Nikola Founder Trevor Milton," said the report. "We have never seen this level of deception at a public company, especially of this size." Nikola has misled 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 of new shares to GM. "Nikola has been vetted by some of the world's most credible companies and investors," a spokeswoman said in emailed comments. "We are on a path to success and will not waver based on a report filled with misleading information attempting to manipulate our stock."
Sept. 10, 2020, 11:09 a.m. EDT