Shares of Kansas City Southern soared last week after a fake Spanish website reported that it would be bought for a higher price than initially offered, reports Crystal Kim and Heather Perlberg of Bloomberg News.
Kim and Perlberg report, “But a dispatch last Thursday from a website called El Negocio said Blackstone and a partner were preparing a bid that raised the implied value by $3 billion.
“That sent the stock to a record, with Kansas City Southern closing the session among the 15 biggest gainers on the S&P 500. The next day, the article disappeared.
“‘While we never comment on deal speculation, this appears to be a fake news website,’ Blackstone spokeswoman Paula Chirhart said Wednesday. ‘We’ve never heard of this organization and they did not contact us ahead of publication.’
“When a Bloomberg reporter called the phone number listed on El Negocio’s website, a man who said his name was Albert answered and asked the reporter to call back in an hour. Later calls were not answered or returned.
“El Negocio has a Twitter account that has not been verified, which is uncommon for a news service. Its Facebook page lists its location on a well-known street in Madrid, Calle Velazquez, with no address, and the link sends users to a Google maps page giving directions between the cities of Madrid and Cordoba. The phone number on the website is also associated with two other sites that seem to publish public relations statements from a website called Comunicae.”
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