WiseTech Global shares have gone into another trading halt after a Beijing-based short seller made more allegations against the logistics software company.
J Capital Research on Monday published a second research report into WiseTech, claiming the 34 freight-forwarding platforms WiseTech has acquired for $400 million in recent years have been poorly integrated.
"WiseTech's acquisition spree looks like a frantic effort to maintain the narrative that this is a fast-growing technology business," J Capital writes in the scathing report titled "The Closer You Look the Uglier It Gets".
Read Next WiseTech asked the ASX for trade in its securities be halted until Wednesday or such time it has a chance to respond to the allegations, to "ensure that trading does not take place in an uninformed or false market".
WiseTech shares were down 12.3 per cent to a four-month low of $26.30 before the halt.
Late on Friday, WiseTech called J Capital's prior report an "unconscionable" attempt to manipulate the market by a short seller that acknowledged it stood to realise financial gains from a declining share price.
"We acknowledge the right to differing opinions, but we are deeply concerned about the extensive value destruction that can be wrought from short-seller reports that potentially damage our shareholders large and small and the integrity of investment markets," WiseTech chief executive Richard White said on Friday.
"We would ask the relevant regulators and government, not just for ourselves but for the many listed Australian corporations regularly subjected to similar attacks, to consider the complex issues raised and damage caused by reports of this type issued by a US or overseas short seller."
J Capital's Anne Stevenson-Yang fired back in her second 31-page report, writing that WiseTech's response "follows a well-worn playbook by cherry picking immaterial points to refute, remaining silent on major points, and taking a high moral tone about 'short sellers'."
Ms Stevenson-Yang said she interviewed 14 executives who work at seven companies acquired by WiseTech, and "the feedback was consistent: Integration has been slow or non-existent, promised features never get added, and WiseTech's vertical management style makes decisions slow and bottlenecks hard to break through."
None of the executives are identified by name.
Ms Stevenson-Yang also Quote: s anonymous customers describing WiseTech's CargoWise One platform as being overly expensive and providing poor customer service.
Seven of the 26 firms that WiseTech has named as its top customers don't actually use the platform, she alleges.
"Those seven customers may use some minor legacy software system they acquired, but they are not using the core CargoWise One software," she writes.
WiseTech has been contacted for further comment.
J Capital was founded in 2010 by Ms Stevenson-Yang, an American living in China, and Tim Murray, the former Labor candidate for the federal seat of Wentworth.
Other Australian companies to be hit by damning research reports from overseas short-sellers in recent months include agricultural property group Rural Funds Group, Treasury Wine Estates and construction giant CIMIC Group.