B. Riley (NASDAQ:RILY) has experienced a 27% decline this week following allegations of fraud involving the head of one of its companies.
The possible involvement of Brian Kahn, the head of Franchise Group, in a $294 million fraud case has significantly impacted the market’s perception of B. Riley’s investment in Franchise.
Amid these allegations, B. Riley (RILY) CEO Bryant Riley addressed the situation during the investment firm’s Q3 results report, defending the investment and his relationship with Kahn. Riley stated, “I believe we are going to make a lot of money for our shareholders in Franchise Group.” He further expressed strong confidence in Franchise Group, emphasizing the business’s potential for profitability.
Furthermore, the recent share drop in B. Riley (RILY) was influenced by reports linking Kahn to Prophecy Asset Management, where the co-founder pleaded guilty to defrauding clients of $294 million. The market’s response to this news has been notable, with B. Riley’s shares falling by 22% on Monday.
It is important to note that B. Riley’s investment in Franchise Group is strategic and substantial. In collaboration with others, Kahn orchestrated a management-led buyout of Franchise Group, encompassing businesses such as The Vitamin Shoppe, Pet Supplies Plus, and American Freight, for approximately $2.8 billion. This transaction signifies B. Riley’s second major investment in Franchise Group, following its initial involvement in Liberty Tax, which eventually evolved into Franchise Group, back in 2018.
Additionally, the market’s negative sentiment towards B. Riley (RILY) is not solely driven by the recent allegations but also by short-seller reports earlier in the year, with B. Riley short interest currently standing at 24%.
As the situation continues to unfold, B. Riley, investors, and stakeholders are navigating through a challenging period, with the spotlight on the integrity of their investments and the resilience of their operations. The ongoing developments will undoubtedly shape the trajectory of both B. Riley and Franchise Group, influencing the broader narrative of investor confidence and market dynamics.
It’s essential to closely monitor further developments and news surrounding B. Riley, Franchise Group, and the implicated parties, as the implications of these events extend beyond individual stock movements, impacting the financial landscape and investor sentiments at large.
–With assistance from Christiana Sciaudone