(Bloomberg) Vinci SA fell victim to a fake release claiming the French builder had fired its finance chief amid accounting irregularities, prompting the stock to plunge before the company denied the report.

Bloomberg News was among the few news organizations to report from the false statement.

“We are a victim of a hoax,” spokesman Paul-Alexis Bouquet said on Tuesday, denying that the Paris-based company had released any statement. Although the company’s website hadn’t been hacked, technically speaking, fake statements had been sent in the company’s name, he said.

Investors were caught off guard after the publication of a release saying that Vinci had discovered an accounting error and had fired Chief Financial Officer Christian Labeyrie. The shares plunged 18 percent, the most in more than 17 years, before Bouquet said the report was false. Vinci will file a complaint about the incident, the spokesman said.

Vinci recovered to end the day 3.8 percent lower at 58.80 euros.

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