Wirecard closes sale of core assets to Banco Santander group

Around 500 Wirecard employees will become part of the Spanish lender's Getnet platform

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Wirecard AG, an independent provider of outsourcing and white label solutions for electronic payment transactions, is pictured at its headquarters in Aschheim, near Munich, Germany, July 1, 2020. REUTERS/Andreas Gebert/File Photo
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Wirecard's insolvency administrator said the sale of the company's European technology assets to Spain's biggest lender Banco Santander has been completed.

The transaction was closed on January 28 despite "challenging circumstances," insolvency administrator Michael Jaffé said in a statement.

Around 500 Wirecard employees will join Santander's Getnet platform.

"With the successful sale to Santander we have achieved our goal of finding the best possible solution for employees and creditors," Mr Jaffé said.

Munich-based Wirecard, which started as a FinTech star and ended at the center of Germany's biggest fraud case, filed for insolvency on June 25.

The latest sale is part of the insolvency proceedings concerning the assets of Wirecard AG and Wirecard Technologies.

In mid-November last year, Banco Santander and insolvency administrator Mr Jaffé signed a contract for the sale of the European technology platform of the insolvent payment service provider and highly specialized technological assets.

Santander plans to accelerate the growth of its merchant payments business, Getnet, in Europe and expand it at a pan-European level with the acquisition of Wirecard assets, the statement said.

The insolvency administrator has already sold several other parts of Wirecard group worldwide. These include Wirecard North America's sale to Syncapay, Wirecard Brazil's sale to PagSeguro and Wirecard Romania's sale to SIBS.

Before its collapse, Wirecard had been lauded as a European FinTech star and was the newest member of the Dax 30 – the index of the biggest German companies listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange – with its valuation peaking at €24 billion ($29bn) in August 2018.

Last year, on April 27, accountancy firm KPMG published the findings on an independent audit commissioned by German payment processing giant Wirecard in the hope it would quash much of the negative publicity that had surrounded the company over the previous 18 months.

Instead, KPMG's verdict – that it couldn’t verify whether vast amounts of the company’s revenue and earnings were genuine – sent Wirecard into a downward spiral that ended with it entering into insolvency on June 25, after declaring a €1.9bn hole in its accounts, and the arrest of several of key executives on suspicion of accountancy fraud.