Shares of activist investor Carl Icahn’s investment firm lost nearly a fifth of their value on Wednesday, adding to a 20% decline a day earlier following short seller Hindenburg Research’s scathing attack on the company.
Icahn Enterprises LP’s (IEP.O) shares hit an intraday low of $31.78 – their lowest in more than a decade. The stock has lost nearly 35% since the release of the report.
Hindenburg accused the company of over-valuing its holdings and relying on a “Ponzi-like” structure to pay dividends. Icahn called the report “self-serving.”
Icahn owned about 85% of the investment firm, as of Feb. 22 this year. He had pledged over 60% of his stake as collateral for personal loans.
Since its release on Tuesday, the Hindenburg report has wiped $7.5 billion off Icahn’s fortune, leaving him with a net worth of $10.8 billion, according to Forbes.
“Activist short attacks a few days before an issuer reports earnings are common because regulatory quiet periods can limit the issuer’s ability to respond and catch them off-guard,” said Josh Black, editor-in-chief of Insightia, which provides data on shareholder activism and corporate governance.
Icahn Enterprises is scheduled to report its first-quarter earnings on Friday.
The attack has landed the famed corporate raider in uncharted waters. Known for his face-offs with industry heavyweights like McDonald’s Corp (MCD.N), 87-year-old Icahn has seldom found himself on the wrong side of an activist feud.
But Hindenburg has taken on several high-profile targets in recent months, including India’s conglomerate Adani Group and Jack Dorsey-led digital payments platform Block Inc (SQ.N).
“The drama in this situation comes from Icahn’s track record of squeezing shorts,” Black added.