NextDC founder Bevan Slattery has criticised a column published in the Australian Financial Review that took issue with the data centre operator’s current boss Craig Scroggie.
Slattery took to LinkedIn to vent about a Rear Window column he said was “seen by many as a possible sock puppet for market manipulators”, and resulted in the wiping of more than $100 million off NextDC’s value.
The column referenced Scroggie’s Instagram account, took exception with his travel to New Zealand for a golfing weekend and alleged he may be a habitual gambler.
Slattery said Scroggie did not go to New Zealand, saying the photo in question was a trip to the Melbourne Grand Prix in March. He also clarified that Scroggie stayed in casino hotels as a guest of a third party rather than traveling there to gamble.
The founder's main beef is that the column misrepresented NextDC's finances.
“NextDC met market guidance with yet another amazing record profit and almost every analyst either upgraded or kept forecasts as is. Evans and Partners initiated coverage with a $14.14 buy! NextDC provided guidance in line with analyst consensus.”
Slattery also suggested that the AFR may have been involved in a scheme to help shorters and market manipulators profit from hit taken by NextDC.
“What is of greater concern is the pattern of shorters/market manipulators getting their short positions ‘set’ in the preceding days/weeks then once set, Rear Window and The Australian Financial Review writing salacious and factually inaccurate articles based upon ‘rumours’ obviously fed by the same market manipulators/shorters for their financial gain,” he said.
Fairfax Media declined to comment.