Aphria Inc. (NYSE: APHA), which nosedived 23.42% to $6.05 at the end of Monday’s trading session, continued to be in red during pre-market hours on Tuesday. Aphria’s stock plunged on Monday following short sellers Gabriel Grego of Quintessential Capital Management and Nate Anderson of Hindenburg Research raised concerns about the company’s acquisitions.
“Aphria – A Shell Game with a Cannabis Business on the Side”, a report from Hindenburg Research stated that the recent LATAM acquisition appears to be largely worthless. The report also accused that a network of insiders diverted funds from shareholders and put them into their own pockets. Further, it adds that the official registered office of Aphria’s C$145 million Jamaican acquisition is an abandoned building that was sold off by the bank earlier this year.
According to the report, “Aphria generates a minimum amount of sales relative to its market cap, we believe that the uncovering of this alleged scheme, coupled with a massive asset write-off, would have catastrophic consequences for its share price.” Hindenburg Research and Quintessential Capital Management presented this report in Kase Learning Short Selling Conference on Monday.
Monday afternoon Aphria responded to the allegations by saying that the short-seller report is a malicious and self-serving attempt to profit by manipulating Aphria’s stock price at the expense of Aphria’s shareholders. Hindenburg Research replied in a tweet that Aphria had responded to none of its allegations and it stands by the report with 100% conviction.
Aphria issued a ‘response’ that responded to NONE of our allegations. We stand by our report with 100% conviction. $APHA
— Hindenburg Research (@HindenburgRes) December 3, 2018
Shares of Aphria had lost 59% so far in the year-to-date period and 32% in the past one year. The stock dropped more than 10% during the pre-market hours on Tuesday and it plunged to a new 52-week low after the market opened.