Shares in Kerry Group fell as much as 12% today, with traders attributing the drop to a report from short-seller Ontake Research criticising the firm's track record on acquisitions.
Ontake Research, which has a short position on Kerry, said it found eight businesses purchased for €1bn that it said are worth nowhere near that.
A spokesperson for Kerry, which is a highly acquisitive company adding many bolt-on businesses over a number of years, said "the report is full of errors inaccuracies and incorrect deductions".
Kerry's Dublin-listed shares were trading 5% lower at €108 at lunchtime, after briefly touching the lowest levels since last May.
The drop wiped about a billion euros from the firm's market capitalisation.
"Kerry's acquisition strategy has been stable for a number of years and we think is well appreciated by the market," said Ryan Tomkins, a Jefferies analyst, adding that the report's core arguments largely mirrored what another short-seller, Shadowfall, had raised in 2019.
Kerry had dismissed that report at the time as "misinformed".