The struggling US hydrogen fuel-cell truck manufacturer Hyzon Motors could be delisted within weeks after failing to comply with Nasdaq's strict final deadline to deliver financial results that were already several months behind schedule.
Nasdaq has decided the company will be delisted as soon as 14 February, Hyzon admits in a new press release, however it has managed to postpone the removal from the exchange by appealing against Nasdaq’s decision — which will automatically stay the delisting process for 15 days.
The last straw for Nasdaq was a message from the truck producer last week admitting that it would fail to file quarterly financial reports from 2022's second and third quarters. Hyzon had previously informed the market that earlier financial statements should no longer be relied upon.
The crisis for the company started with a critical report from short-seller outfit Blue Orca Capital in March 2021 — one of several companies with a business model to earn money on betting against a stock, as the now-famous Hindenburg Research report on the Adani Group did in January, setting off an immediate crisis in the massive Indian conglomerate.
In 2020, Hyzon said it could deliver thousands of fuel cell trucks and buses by 2023, and presented as an ambitious company riding the "green" energy wave in the markets when it went public on the Nasdaq stock exchange in December 2020, valued at $2.8bn.
By early February 2021, Hyzon's share price had risen by almost 60%, and in March 2021 it announced it was building the largest fuel cell membrane electrode assembly facility in the US. The company continued announcing orders, including its largest ever in September 2021 for 500 trucks from Chinese logistics company Shanghai HongYun.
But that month, Blue Orca released a report that made several serious allegations against Hyzon, including that:
·Shanghai HongYun was a “fake-looking Chinese shell entity” formed three days before the 500-truck deal was announced and had no paid-in capital or website. “In our opinion, such evidence suggests that Hyzon announced a major order with a fake-looking Chinse customer just to pump its stock price,” the report said.
·Hyzon’s next largest customer, a New Zealand start-up named Hiringa, was not ordering 1,500 trucks as Hyzon had claimed; it was merely facilitating marketing and selling the trucks in New Zealand.
·Top-tier customers like Coca-Cola, Ikea and Heineken appeared as customers and partners in an initial investor presentation but were removed from later presentations without any substantial revisions of projected revenues
·Hyzon was, in fact, a repackaged 17-year-old Chinese company called Horizon that had been struggling with decreasing fuel cell sales.
Hyzon countered that it had never stated that Shanghai HongYun and Hiringa were firm customers and end users, and called Blue Orca’s claims misinformed and misleading,
However, more bad news was on the way — the US Securities and Exchange Commission launched an investigation into Hyzon in January 2022, demanding the company provide documents related to Blue Orca’s allegations.
Hyzon soon reported that negative publicity had adversely affected the brand. As a result, customers and partners had cancelled, sought to cancel business and failed to place new orders with the company.
In August 2022, Hyzon said it had opened an internal investigation looking into what it called “certain issues regarding revenue recognition timing and internal controls and procedures”, primarily in its China operations.
Hydrogen Insight has approached Hyzon Motors for comment.