Wirecard loses another suitor as BBVA-backed lender drops out

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Wirecard AG’s administrator is facing declining interest in the disgraced payment company’s German assets after another potential buyer followed Deutsche Bank AG’s lead and pulled out of the bidding.

Berlin-based startup Solarisbank AG decided not to make an offer after having a “close look” at Wirecard, Chief Executive Officer Roland Folz said in an interview Tuesday. Solarisbank is backed by companies including Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA and ABN Amro Bank NV.

“Ultimately, we came to the decision not to submit an offer —
not even for parts of Wirecard,” Folz said.

Wirecard collapsed in June after revealing that almost 2 billion euros ($2.3 billion) it previously reported as cash didn’t exist. The administrator, in a report issued in August and seen by Bloomberg, put the estimated value of Wirecard’s global assets at about 428 million euros. Some of those assets have since been sold. It owes banks and other creditors more than 3 billion euros.

Four companies are still involved in the sale process, according to people with knowledge of the matter. They include Banco Santander SA, Lycamobile and Italian payment firm SIA, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. Another firm, Heidelpay, is still in the bidding, though its interest is waning, the people said.

Representatives for the Wirecard administrator, SIA, Santander and Heidelpay all declined to comment, while a representative for Lycamobile couldn’t immediately comment.

Deutsche Bank balked at a Wirecard bid because of the price sought by the administrator, Bloomberg reported earlier this month.

According to Folz, Solarisbank has hired some former Wirecard employees. “That involved a handful of people up to middle management,” he said. Deutsche Bank and Heidelpay, now called Unzer, have also hired ex-Wirecard employees.

Bloomberg News
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