John Brda, who ran an oil and gas company that merged into Meta Materials (NASDAQ:MMAT) in 2021, has formed a shareholders group to investigate what he believes is market manipulation by market makers, broker deals, and other unnamed third parties. MMAT stock lost almost half its value over the last year.
Meta Materials, which says it is working on next-generation materials for use in communications and aerospace, saw its shares trading Jan. 19 at about $1 each with a market capitalization of less than $375 million. Total revenue for 2022 is estimated at $11 million.
Meta Materials was briefly a meme stock in 2021, rising to a high near $20 per share. Meta says it has orders from an unnamed central bank for KolourOptik, an optical material delivering 3D effects on a 2D plane, to be used against counterfeiters. The company’s CES booth this month showed what it said were new materials for batteries and electric cars.
Brda was the CEO of Torchlight Energy Resources, which merged with Meta Materials in 2021. At the time, Torchlight shareholders received preferred stock, which traded for a time under the symbol MMTLP. Torchlight said it struck oil near El Paso during the last decade, but chose to merge with the company after the Covid-19 pandemic hit for a 25% stake in the combined firm. At the time, Meta Materials claimed organic revenue of $1.6 million per year.
Trading in MMTLP was halted last month as the company moved to spin off its Next Bridge Hydrocarbons unit, converting the preferred shares into Next Bridge common. According to his Twitter, Brda wants to investigate whether market makers, broker dealers, and other third parties sold unauthorized shares of Next Bridge. Another focus of the investigation will be on the original listing of MMTLP preferred stock on over-the-counter exchanges.
News of the day! $MMTLP
Not the best kept secret, but see below.@cvpayne @rogerhamilton @HAMShortkiller
The fight just got more intense. There was a reason I changed the image on my profile a few days ago, now you know! pic.twitter.com/LhC6m2naND
— John Brda (@johnbrda) January 18, 2023
Flamethrower has retained counsel to investigate the transaction, and Brda is seeking publicity for his cause.
On the date of publication, Dana Blankenhorn did not hold (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.