Hindenburg Research, the short selling firm made famous by its attack on gravity-powered electric truckmaker Nikola Motors last year, has a new target. And perhaps of little surprise, it’s a company born of Spac. But not any old Spac. A Chamath Palihapitiya Spac. Namely, Clover Health.
You might know Chamath. The former Facebook executive has spent the best part of a year cultivating his name in the capital markets as a billionaire man of the people. He’s managed, with poise, to straddle a line between televised rants on Wall Street while also shilling risky reverse-mergers to retail investors on an almost bimonthly basis. Chamath the (equity) redeemer, if you will.
In recent days, this has taken the form of joining in with the “populist” trade that was the GameStop short squeeze. But in older times, Chamath has also gone after Tesla bears, and once even took a dig at famed short-seller Jim Chanos. Despite US markets having been in full-on melt up mode for the best part of the decade, it seems the evil shorties are still public enemy number one whenever something goes remotely awry in the markets.
Yet this time, Chamath, with his 7 per cent stake in $1.9bn Clover Health according to Refinitiv data, seems to be directly on the receiving end of the evil shorties. But is he really?
Hindenburg’s report is extensive, and includes detailed accusations of undisclosed DOJ investigations, high executive turnover, and related party transactions.
Perhaps more curious, however, is that Hindenburg have chosen not to take a position in the stock. From the report:
Chamath the redeemer has been pretty outspoken on Twitter of late, so it will be interesting to see how he responds to this, given that he won’t be able to accuse the firm of profiteering off market manipulation.
Clover Health has yet to respond to the accusations but we will make sure to update this piece if it does. In early market trading, its shares are down 8.4 per cent to $12.78.