London / Munich (dpa) - The Dax group Wirecard, suspected of manipulation, loses its most important partner for large future projects due to its balance sheet scandal.
The Japanese Softbank Group ends the cooperation with the payment service provider from the Munich suburb of Aschheim, as it was said in informed circles on Thursday. The partnership announced in April 2019 had two main components: a three-digit million investment by the Japanese and the brokering of new business opportunities, partners and customers to Wirecard. There was no official statement from Softbank.
Contrary to what the name suggests, Softbank is not a bank, but a holding company that, under the direction of its boss Matayoshi Son, participates in start-ups and future technologies around the world. Among other things, Softbank wanted to help Wirecard enter the market in Japan and South Korea.
In addition, Wirecard was planning business partnerships with at least six companies in which Softbank had invested: the Southeast Asian transport service Grab, the US mobile operator Sprint, the US-based mobile service provider Brightstar, the car trading platform Auto1 and the tourism platform GetYourGuide, both based in Germany , as well as the Indian hotel chain Oyo. Upon request, Grab, Auto1 and GetYourGuide confirm that no further cooperation with Wirecard is planned; the three other companies left requests unanswered.
Softbank also wanted to invest 900 million euros in Wirecard, with the option of becoming a major shareholder in five years. The Japanese company, however, raised concerns a short time later after the British Financial Times reported on suspected Wirecard balance sheet forgery. Softbank therefore no longer financed the announced 900 million investment in Wirecard with money from the in-house Vision Fund, but with the help of external donors. As a result, Softbank is not threatened with any financial losses.
In the meantime, five subsidiaries have now filed for bankruptcy following the parent company Wirecard AG. As the Munich district court announced on Thursday, the lawyer Michael Jaffé has also been appointed as the provisional insolvency administrator for these five companies.
Like Wirecard AG, all five subsidiaries are located in the Munich suburb of Aschheim.These are companies that offer services and software for the parent company, including the sales and marketing company Wirecard Global Sales and the software company Wirecard Issuing Technologies.
Wirecard granted suspected air bookings of 1.9 billion euros at the beginning of last week, and a few days later the bankruptcy application followed. The Munich public prosecutor's office is investigating CEO Markus Braun and other managers, who initially resigned and later fired without notice by the Supervisory Board.
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