Hindenburg, led by Nathan Anderson, has emerged as one the more aggressive short-selling research firms in recent years. It published a report about the electric vehicle manufacturer Nikola a year before the company’s founder, Trevor Milton, was indicted on securities fraud charges. A related civil complaint filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission referenced the Hindenburg report. Mr. Milton was convicted on securities fraud charges in October.
Mr. Anderson declined to comment on the company’s disclosure. Hindenburg has taken a short position in Icahn Enterprises, which means it stands to profit from the sharp decline in the company’s shares.
On Wednesday, Mr. Icahn issued a response to Hindenburg’s report on his firm, calling it “misleading and self-serving.” The statement addressed specific criticisms about his business operations and how he valued companies in his portfolio.
“Mr. Anderson’s modus operandi is to launch disinformation campaigns to distort companies’ images, damage their reputations and bleed the hard-earned savings of individual investors,” Mr. Icahn wrote. “But, unlike many of its victims, we will not stand by idly.”
Still, Mr. Icahn acknowledged that his firm’s performance in recent years had been below its historical average. He attributed the firm’s underperformance to its bets against the stock market. He said Icahn Enterprises planned to focus more on corporate activism, or taking a stake in companies and pushing for change.