Wirecard administrator sells off Asia Pacific assets

Deal saves about 110 jobs of employees in Hong Kong, Malaysia, Philippines and Thailand subsidiaries

FILE PHOTO: The headquarters of Wirecard AG, an independent provider of outsourcing and white label solutions for electronic payment transactions is seen in Aschheim near Munich, Germany, September 22, 2020. REUTERS/Michael Dalder/File Photo
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The insolvency administrator handling collapsed digital payments company Wirecard has sold off a chunk of its assets in the Asia Pacific region.

Wirecard subsidiaries in Hong Kong, Malaysia, Philippines and Thailand have been sold to Finch Capital, a venture capital company based in Amsterdam. The divisions will become part of Nomu Pay, a Dublin-based FinTech owned by the VC, in a deal that saves about 110 jobs.

“The sale of these shareholdings marks another positive result for the creditors,” insolvency administrator Michael Jaffé said in a statement.

“We have found a solution which allows business segments worth retaining to be continued as going concerns and at the same time leads to a very good result for the creditors. This is particularly pleasing, as it was not to be expected when the insolvency proceedings began,” he added.

Wirecard was placed into insolvency in June last year after an independent audit into the company found a €1.9 billion (Dh8.2bn) hole in its accounts, leading to the arrest of many of its key executives.

The company had previously been lauded as a European FinTech star, with its valuation peaking at €24bn in August 2018.

The insolvency administrator has since managed the sale of a number of its business units, with Spanish banking giant Santander acquiring the company's core European business in January. This allowed about 500 Wirecard staff to transfer to Santander's Getnet business.

In October last year, the company's North American assets were sold to payments processor Syncapay, and its Brazilian and Romanian units were also offloaded.

The assets sold to Finch Capital are Wirecard e-Money Philippines, Wirecard Payment Solutions Malaysia, Wirecard (Thailand) and Wirecard Payment Solutions Hong Kong. The company has also bought assets and licences, including the data warehouse of Wirecard Asia Holdings and Wirecard Singapore.

“As a pan-European and pan-Asian firm, we are bullish on the growth in these regions and have reserved significant capital to invest in them through Nomu Pay,” said Finch Capital’s managing partner Radboud Vlaar.

“Acquiring Wirecard APAC’s key entities provides us with access and infrastructure to invest in improving the payments landscape for millions of people.”

Separately, PT Wirecard Technologies Indonesia, a subsidiary that employs about 360 staff in Indonesia and Malaysia, was sold to the technology holding company of an unnamed Indonesian business and the Australian arm, Wirecard Australia A&I, was sold to an unnamed local competitor.