Two months ago a short selling research firm alleged that there was misreporting of financials at the Chinese coffee giant, Luckin Coffee. The company denied the report as unsubstantiated speculation with malicious intent.
This morning the company reported that it has suspended its COO and several other employees for misconduct related to fabricating transactions. These are precisely the claims that were made two months ago.
The stock was down more than 80% this morning.
Who was the biggest loser?
It’s the top shareholder and angel investor in Luckin, the Chinese billionaire Lu Zhengyao.
Zhengyao is a serial entrepreneur. He founded the rental car company Car Inc. in 2007 and took it public in 2014 on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. His former COO is credited with founding the Starbucks competitor, Luckin Coffee in 2017. In 2019, the company IPO’d on the Nasdaq.
Zhengyao was the angel investor behind the company and holds 484 million shares. At yesterday’s close, that stake was valued at over $12 billion. At the lows this morning, it was valued at $2.2 billion. Learn more about the stakes of billionaire investors here.