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Wirecard Bankruptcy attracts Private Equity Funds and Competitors

According to insiders at Wirecard AG, the collapsed payment service provider Wirecard attracts the first interested parties and private investors and private equity funds, among others, are interested in wanting to take over parts of the company based in Aschheim near Munich with an announcement to be expected within this week.

The French payment processor Worldline also is conidering making a bid on Wirecard AG including all it’s subsidiaries. Worldline had only taken over the competitor Ingenico in February for almost eight billion Euros. As a result of the merger, the two French Wirecard competitors rose to become the world’s fourth largest payment service provider, and became market leader in Europe.

The management board of Wirecard AG announced last Thursday that it would like to file for bankruptcy for the DAX Group due to the risk of insolvency and over-indebtedness . Attorney Michael Jaffé was appointed insolvency administrator. The background to this is a billion-dollar balance sheet scandal, which reached its preliminary highs about a week ago when EY’s auditors refused to certify the company for the 2019 balance sheet. It turned out that escrow account confirmations were obviously falsified. In reality, the allegedly 1.9 billion euros never existed.

Long-time Wirecard chief Markus Braun resigned on Friday last week and surrendered to the public prosecutor following the issuance of an arrest warrant. Since then he has been released on Bail at 5 million Euros. James Freis took charge of Wirecard AG following the shock announcement that Markus Braun had resigned as chief executive officer. Before joining Wirecard AG as the Interim CEO he worked as the Chief Compliance Officer and Managing Director for the Deutsche Börse Group. He began his career as an attorney at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and later became the CEO of the U.S. Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), the lead U.S. Government official for anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing requirements, and head of the country’s financial intelligence unit (FIU).

Wirecard shares Show stock market fell after the announcement of the bankruptcy application by up to 80 percent to 2.50 euros. Since the shift in the balance sheet for 2019 in the previous week and the admission of alleged air bookings worth billions, they have now lost almost 98 percent.

Wirecard had reportedly grown at a rapid pace in recent years and in September 2018 pushed Commerzbank out of the German DAX index.

It is the first time in the more than 30-year history of the leading index Dax that a Dax member has collapsed.

As a service provider, Wirecard processes electronic and cashless payments to cash registers and on the Internet. The company uses it to process the payment flows between credit and EC card companies on the one hand and the affiliated retailers on the other.

Wirecard UK has been used to bypass strict German Anti Money Laundering Laws and Know Your Customers (KYC) rules and the UK subsidiary issued millions of Mastercard debit cards to it’s largest B2B client Payoneer (UK) Limited including to Fintech companies in Asia and the United Kingdom.

Reporting done by Dr. Dipl. Ing. Robert Bowitz, Wiesbaden and Wolfgang Holzem, Singapore.

Pushed to both the Bloomberg and Reuters Terminal at 20200628914AM

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