Matt Atlas

Wirecard’s Creditors Claim At least 12.5 Billion Euros

Creditors of the bankrupt German company Wirecard have made claims for receivables worth at least 12.5 billion euros, a German court said Wednesday. Creditors raised their claims at a meeting with the company’s insolvency administrator in Munich, Reuters reported.

Wirecard declared insolvency in June when it turned out that it lacked about 1.9 billion euros, reported in its accounts. The German prosecutor’s office subsequently detained some former executives of the company, including the chairman of the board Markus Braun, on suspicion of organized fraud, embezzlement, falsification of accounts, and manipulation of the stock market.

According to DPA from financial circles, the insolvency administrator has so far raised around half a billion euros by selling part of Wirecard’s activities and technologies. Creditors hope that the insolvency administrator will repay at least amount of their receivables in the foreseeable future.

The Munich prosecutor’s office estimated that banks and investors lost more than three billion euros due to the collapse of Wirecard. The company’s suppliers and other business partners also suffered losses.

Wirecard was founded in 1999 and focused on payment processing and financial services. Germany was considered a promising player in the fast-growing financial services market, given as a model of domestic success and described as the star of the German technology sector. The fall of the company also affected clients in the Czech Republic.

The market value of Wirecard after its listing in the main index of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange DAX in September 2018 exceeded 23 billion euros. However, after the declaration of insolvency, it fell below 100 million euros. In addition to institutional investors, many small shareholders were also hit hard.

The insolvency administrator announced this week that some of Wirecard’s European activities would be taken over by the Spanish bank Santander. He added that the sale of subsidiaries in Asia, South Africa, and Turkey is under negotiation. Wirecard’s Brazilian, Romanian, and North American assets have already been sold.