Rep. Norman addresses the concerns of thousands of investors demanding answers on Meta Materials stock

Concerned investors have inundated Congress with letters asking for answers about Meta Materials Series A preferred shares, also known as MMTLP. Rep. Ralph Norman (R-S.C.) and numerous congressional representatives have written to the SEC and FINRA, seeking a review of the merger between Meta Materials and Torchlight Energy Resources. They are also inquiring about the subsequent spinoff of a new company called Next Bridge Hydrocarbons. FINRA halted trading on Meta Materials’ stock, preventing shareholders from making trades.

The congressional letter stated that more than 40,000 letters from concerned investors have been received. Many of these constituents are worried about the spin-off transaction and the subsequent halt on trading. Congressional representatives presented 16 questions and inquiries to the financial regulators to get more information about the timeline of MMTLP trades on the over-the-counter (OTC) markets. They also asked about the number of questions and complaints received by FINRA and the SEC regarding MMTLP.

Furthermore, they are seeking information about any evidence to suggest the existence of fraud and manipulation related to MMTLP transactions, such as naked shorts and counterfeit shares. They believe it is appropriate that FINRA and the SEC review these market events and determine any wrongdoing that may have occurred in order to dispel misinformation and properly safeguard investors.

The board of directors at Meta Materials issued a statement addressing pressing shareholders’ concerns, noting that some claims and theories lobbed against the firm occurred under the company’s former CEO, George Palikaris. The statement mentioned that the current management and board, most of whom were not with the company at the time of the reverse merger, are working to address these complaints and recoup shareholder monies.

In March, FINRA stated that it did not cancel any MMTLP shares, but it was MMTLP that canceled the shares effective Dec. 14. During a Senate Finance Committee hearing, SEC Chair Gary Gensler was asked for additional information about what happened, but he did not provide clarity on the matter.

Meta Materials shares are still trading on the Nasdaq Composite Index, but they have plummeted more than 93 percent year to date, to around $0.07 a share, giving the company a market capitalization of approximately $40 million. Earlier this month, the company confirmed that it would hold a reverse stock split to maintain its Nasdaq listing.

Additionally, Meta Materials says that a reverse split would be needed to bolster the number of authorized shares to support the corporate goal of facilitating technology manufacturing, production, and sales. In November, Meta Materials announced restructuring efforts that would result in annualized cost savings of up to $30 million. The company also appointed a new CEO, Jim Fusaro, but he was replaced a month later by CFO and COO Uzi Sasson due to health concerns.

The third-quarter earnings report produced promising results, including a quarter-over-quarter revenue increase, lower operating expenses, and positive guidance. Mr. Sasson stated that they still have work to do in 2023 and beyond but believes that the third-quarter results are heading in the right direction. He noted that they have identified the building blocks necessary to make the business more efficient and are focused on overcoming challenges and making progress in sales and cost-cutting efforts.

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