The administrator of the insolvent payment processor Wirecard, Michael Jaffé, is expecting the company to be sold in individual parts. “A large number of investors from around the world have already expressed an interest in acquiring the core business (or) the independent and independently operating business units,” said Jaffé, according to the Reuters news agency, on Tuesday evening after a meeting of the creditors’ committee.
Wirecard filed for bankruptcy on Thursday after a hole in the balance sheet of EUR 1.9 billion became known. According to insiders, prospective buyers include financial investors, but also rivals such as the French Worldline. The insolvency administrator explained that the creditors had also given the green light for mandating specialized investment banks to deal with the sale of the individual parts of the company.
According to the AFP news agency, Wirecard’s supervisory board also terminated the employment contract of former CEO Markus Braun on Tuesday. He resigned on June 19 because of the scandal. In Munich, an investigation is underway. Braun was arrested and released on bail.
The US subsidiary Wirecard North America had already put up for sale on Tuesday. Wirecard had taken over the former Citi Prepaid Card Services in 2016. Apart from the parent company based in Aschheim near Munich, hardly any subsidiaries have gone bankrupt so far.
The sales proceeds would benefit the creditors of Wirecard AG. The German Wirecard Bank has not yet gone bankrupt. The financial regulator BaFin has appointed a special representative there so that no money flows to Wirecard AG. “Payments to dealers and customers of Wirecard Bank are carried out without restrictions,” said bankruptcy administrator Jaffé.
According to Jaffé, the aim is to “stabilize the business operations of the group companies”. This applies to the processing of credit card payments – such as for Visa and Mastercard – and to all other, independent business areas. “To this end, intensive discussions are being held with customers, trading partners and the credit card organizations.”
In the United Kingdom, the FCA’s financial regulator there temporarily imposed restrictions on its domestic Wirecard subsidiary and effectively prohibited it from doing business. Customers were unable to access their money for a few days. However, customers can now use their credit cards again.
Several authorities are investigating the Wirecard case
Several authorities are now investigating the Wirecard case internationally. The Vienna public prosecutor’s office recently received a complaint. Former boss Markus Braun and former board member Jan Marsalek are accused of market manipulation and serious fraud.
German financial regulator BaFin is also examining Wirecard’s share purchases from Braun for a possible violation of insider trading regulations. Financial supervision itself had come under criticism after the scandal became known.
Share price rises again
Apparently driven by speculation about possible sales of parts of the company, the price of Wirecard shares rose again on Tuesday. After a loss of almost 99 percent as a result of the scandal, Wirecard papers went wild up and down on Monday. At times the course tripled. Tuesday was again up more than 70 percent.
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