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Wirecard launches share repurchase program – share collapses again

Frankfurt / Munich Abteilung Attacke: Payment service provider Wirecard tries to reach an exemption after days of bad news. As the group announced on Friday afternoon, it is launching a share repurchase program. It should already start in "the next few days."

"The Board decided today with the approval of the Supervisory Board (…) to start a share repurchase program", it says in the ad hoc edition, the group on Friday afternoon has published. Over a period of 12 months, shares up to EUR 200 million will be repurchased. The Annual General Meeting had already issued a corresponding authorization in June.

The Wirecard share fell on Tuesday following critical reports from the British newspaper "Financial Times" (FT) and went down by about 1

3 percent from the market. Also on Friday afternoon, the newspaper after the ad-hoc release noted more than seven percent in minus.

FT reported that in 2016, about half of Wirecard's pre-tax profit was generated through a Dubai partner, Al Alam. The magazine contacted 34 customers whose businesses were reported to have transacted through the partner's platform according to recorded documents.

Almost half had never heard the name Al Alam, others had dissolved for several years or lost. Since then, there is a serious suspicion in the room: Wirecard has manipulated its balance sheet?

CEO Markus Braun is facing a claim in the attack situation. "I can tell you with certainty that there is nothing wrong with these charges," he said in an interview with Handelsblatt. "Nothing about these allegations is new, we are talking about old, well-known topics. The alleged irregularities have already been investigated and disproved during the spring investigation."

Brown commented on allegations that Al Alam had fictitious customer relationships, in our financial reports authentic. "It could happen that" customer clusters "carried the names of individual companies, as Wirecard had explained on Wednesday, did not want to execute Braun.

For that, the company's manager goes to court with the FT: "To be honest, we surprised FT to release such an article once again. We have been notified because of serious suspicions that FT journalists are working with shortsellers, as well as In my opinion, an attempt is made to supplement this with new reporting to revive past, disproved allegations. "

Wirecard refuses to order an independent reviewer

Observers such as Volker Brühl, CEO of the Center for Financial Studies at Frankfurt Goethe University University, responds surprised by the latest developments. "The announcement of share repurchases comes as a surprise," Brühl explains. "The management wants to send a strong signal to the markets that they believe in a continued positive price trend. On the other hand, the markets are annoyed, as the direct price reaction shows."

Wirecard manager Braun is convinced despite the large market uncertainty that Dax The group must make further adjustments to the balance sheet. "An extensive review of the business has already been done. The only thing that happened in the balance sheet was a periodic pre-order of over 2.5 million euros. She was corrected. There is no need for changes and depreciation."

Wirecard had ordered the accounting firm Ernst & Young (EY) to investigate the situation. For example, EY only confirmed on Wednesday that "all legal and professional audit requirements have been met and met. As part of the review of the consolidated financial statements, EY also reviewed the reporting of the two Dubai subsidiaries for group purposes," Braun said.

The German Financial Reporting Panel has also reviewed Wirecard's annual accounts several times before. "None of the audits carried out in recent years has led to the finding that there are errors in the accounts."

The Board invites investment protectionists and experts to request a special audit of the latest allegations by an independent auditor to resolve any doubts, according to Handelsblatt, the information does not meet. The Group sees no reason for the step of releasing the former auditor EY from the obligation to keep confidentiality.

Volker Brühl considers this incomprehensible: "The rejection of these proposals surprises me," says the finance professor. "Because the situation is very serious. The handling should be proactive here. Only a repurchase of shares is not enough in this situation."

More: Confidence in the payment service provider Wirecard suffers from another critical report. Investors need to know it now.

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