© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Billionaire activist-investor Carl Icahn gives an interview on FOX Business Network’s Neil Cavuto show in New York February 11, 2014. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo
(Reuters) -Icahn Enterprises LP said on Wednesday it had received inquiries from U.S. prosecutors about its operations on May 3, a day after a short-seller accused it of over-valuing its assets.
The disclosure from Icahn Enterprises that it had received inquiries from prosecutors in the Southern District of New York came as the firm posted a surprise quarterly loss, after volatility in markets hit returns on its investments. That sent the shares of the company owned by billionaire Carl Icahn down nearly 8% before the bell.
The company said prosecutors sought information about “corporate governance, capitalization, securities offerings, dividends, valuation, marketing materials, due diligence and other materials.” It added that the prosecutors had not made any claims or allegations against the company or Icahn.
A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s office declined to comment.
Icahn found himself in unchartered waters when short seller Hindenburg Research launched a scathing attack on May 2, accusing his firm of overvaluing its holdings and relying on a “Ponzi-like” structure to pay dividends.
“Icahn has been using money taken in from new investors to pay out dividends to old investors,” Hindenburg had alleged about the Florida-based company with investments in the energy, automotive, food packaging, real estate and other industries.
Icahn has called the report “self-serving” and said he stands by Icahn Enterprises statements about his finances.
Excluding one-time items, Icahn Enterprises reported a loss of 11 cents per share, missing analysts’ average estimate of a 19 cents profit, according to Refinitiv data.
Revenue for the quarter ended March 31 came in at $2.6 billion compared to $4.1 billion a year earlier.