(Bloomberg) — Fraser Perring, the short seller who accused Wirecard AG of fraud years before the German payment processing company’s collapse, is betting Tesla Inc.’s stratospheric valuation will come back down to earth.
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The founder of Viceroy Research tweeted Wednesday that there is “price dislocation” between shares of Tesla and incumbent carmakers Toyota Motor Corp. and Volkswagen AG. The two largest auto manufacturers each sold roughly 10 or 11 vehicles for every one that Tesla delivered last year, yet the company led by Elon Musk has a $1.15 trillion market capitalization, more than double the combined valuations of Toyota and VW.
Perring was part of a team behind a 2016 report that accused Wirecard management and board members of money laundering and facilitating the evasion of U.S. restrictions on internet gambling. The company collapsed in June 2020 after revealing that 1.9 billion euros ($2.1 billion) of assets listed on its balance sheet probably never existed.
Musk, Tesla’s chief executive officer, tweeted in 2018 that short selling should be illegal and called those who take part in wagering against companies “value destroyers.” Tesla has long been one of the U.S. market’s largest shorts, which cost bears billions as the stock soared the last two years.
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