Ormat shares drop after short-seller Hindenburg attacks energy company

(Reuters) - Short-seller Hindenburg Research said on Monday it has taken a short position in the shares of Ormat Technologies Inc, lobbing several accusations against the renewable energy company including “acts of international corruption”.

The company’s shares closed down 1.1% at $84.67, after falling more than 4% during regular trading hours following a report from the short seller.

Hindenburg claimed that official corporate records provide “direct evidence tying Ormat to corruption with senior Guatemalan government officials”.

In response, Ormat said the short seller’s claims were inaccurate and “filled with innuendo in an attempt to mislead investors.”

Ormat also said it was aware of certain claims being investigated in Israel regarding its board member Ravit Barniv and the company’s general counsel and chief compliance officer Hezi Kattan, related to their work at another company, prior to joining Ormat.

Ormat said it has decided to transfer the responsibility for the company’s compliance function to some other members of its management team. The company added Barniv will not stand for reelection at the company’s upcoming annual meeting expected in May.

Hindenburg has targeted a few startups over the past few months. In February, the firm took aim at Chamath Palihapitiya-backed Clover Health Investments Corp, sending the health insurance company’s shares down more than 10%.

Last year, the short seller called out electric-car maker Nikola Corp, alleging the company misled investors over its technology.

Reporting by Shariq Khan and Ankit Ajmera in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta