(Bloomberg) — Shares of Lithium Corp. whipsawed on Wednesday after an inauthentic press release circulated claiming electric-vehicle giant Tesla Inc. had acquired the Nevada-based miner.
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Lithium Corp.’s stock more than tripled to $1.09 shortly before noon in New York before paring its gain. The shares were trading up about 25% at 1:16 p.m., while Tesla shares rose 3.1% to $1,017.19.
Screenshots of the bogus press release about a deal had been shared earlier on Twitter, including by well-followed fans of Elon Musk’s company. Tom Lewis, chief executive officer of Lithium Corp., told Bloomberg News that the deal was “fake news.” He added that the release didn’t come from his company and he was unsure where it came from.
Lithium Corp. subsequently issued a press release stating that it had not received “so much as an expression of interest from Tesla.” The company said none of its employees had left to join Tesla but that Lithium Corp. would be “happy to chat with Elon if he was inclined.”
Tesla didn’t respond to requests for comment from Bloomberg.
Some media outlets reported the false claims from the original press release. Lithium is key metal used in the production of EV batteries.
Images of the release appeared to show it was sent by 5W Public Relations, which denied distributing it.
“We do not know the origin of the press release or why our contact information is listed. We did not issue this release as we do not represent either company,” a spokesperson for the agency said.
(Updates with company comment in fourth paragraph)
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