Organovo Holdings Inc (NYSEMKT:ONVO) has released an official statement regarding allegations made by various short firms. The company addresses statements made by “new and unknown firms,” although it does not mention short selling ideas from the more well-known short sellers like Whitney Tilson.
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Organovo targets firms themselves
In this morning’s statement, Organovo Holdings Inc (NYSEMKT:ONVO) accuses two unnamed firms of publishing articles and reports about it without speaking to management for further information. The company states that one of the firms “appears to have been formed in February 2014 and has not issued any other reports other than on Organovo.” The company also states that “the other firm has a mailing address at a virtual, rent-an-office.” According to Organovo, the reports from these unnamed firms do not contain accurate information.
“We have had the opportunity to review these reports in detail and can confirm that they contain inaccurate information and that they are exceptionally – and likely intentionally – misleading,” said an Organovo Holdings Inc (NYSEMKT:ONVO) spokesperson in a statement. “Based on the source of the reports and the blatantly negative tone, we believe they were issued by or at the request of a short seller or short-sellers, who may profit from a decrease in Organovo’s stock price following the issuance of these kinds of reports.”
Simeon Research responds to Organovo
One of the firms which Organovo Holdings Inc (NYSEMKT:ONVO) may have been referring to in this morning’s statement is Simeon Research, which contacted ValueWalk some time ago with its short thesis on Organovo. State filings indicate that it was formed in February 2014. The firm’s short thesis added fuel to the firestorm of controversy kicked off by a report from Citron Research in January. A spokesperson for Simeon Research, who declined to give ValueWalk his or her name, emailed the following statement:
“Organovo’s management has chosen to attack our character rather than engaging in a substantive conversation about the merits of its company, technology, and past relationships with fraudulent brokers/promoters.
“Its response makes a number of factually incorrect allegations. Our work is original and not commissioned by any third party. Although our work on Organovo was our first publication, we intend to focus on other names in the future. And we did in fact speak to Organovo’s IR to confirm certain parts of our work. Given Organovo’s own admitted lack of knowledge of our firm, we believe that making allegations against our character which have no basis in fact is grossly irresponsible.
“It is troubling that Organovo has chosen the route of attacking us as opposed to our work. We believe this speaks for itself.”
Organovo doesn’t mention well-known short sellers
Simeon Research isn’t the only firm which has suggested that investors short Organovo Holdings Inc (NYSEMKT:ONVO). Earlier this month, ValueWalk published details on the short thesis from Richard Pearson, the investor known as “The Sleuth.” He presented his short ideas at the Value Investing Congress.
Well-known short-seller Whitney Tilson also presented his short thesis about Organovo Holdings Inc (NYSEMKT:ONVO) at the conference, and we’ve also reviewed bearish comments about company from Lakewood Capital.