Hindenburg Research takes on Carl Icahn in its latest market-moving short selling campaign

Carl Icahn speaks at the Alpha handover in New York on September 13, 2016.

David A Grosjean | CNBC

Hindenburg Research, a short-selling firm, is pursuing famous activist investor Carl Icahn.

The Nathan Anderson-led company has taken a short position against Icahn Enterprises, alleging “inflated” asset valuations, among other reasons, for what it says is an unusually high NAV in the holding company’s publicly traded shares.

“Overall, we believe Icahn, a Wall Street legend, made a classic mistake by assuming too much leverage in the face of sustained losses: a combination that rarely ends well,” Hindenburg Research said in a note published Tuesday.

Shares fell 9% in pre-market trading.

Icahn, the most famous corporate raider in history, made his name after he took over Trans World Airlines in the 1980s, stripping the company of its assets. Recently, the billionaire investor has been actively involved in investing in McDonald’s and biotechnology company Illumina.

Headquartered in Sunny Isles Beach, Florida, Icahn Enterprises is a holding company for a myriad of businesses including energy, automotive, food packaging, metals, and real estate.

The conglomerate pays a 15.9% dividend, according to FactSet. Hindenburg said it believes the high dividend yield is “not supported” by the company’s cash flow and investment performance.

CNBC has reached out to Icahn for comment.

Shares of Icahn Enterprises are down 0.5% year over year as of Monday’s close.

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