Wirecard: law firm demands special examination



The payment service provider started an audit by KPMG last year.

(Photo: Reuters)

Frankfurt A group of small shareholders wants to carry out an independent special audit at Wirecard. “We want to be clear as soon as possible about what’s going on at Wirecard,” lawyer Wolfgang Schirp told Reuters on Monday.

A special auditor should examine the balance sheets of partner companies in places such as Dubai and Singapore and investigate the allegations of counterfeiting that have arisen in media reports. First, the “Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung” reported on the law firm’s plans.

According to Schirp, the special audit by KPMG, which Wirecard itself called last year, is not sufficient. It is feared that the Management Board and the Supervisory Board will not pass on all information to the shareholders. At Wirecard, no one was initially available for comment.

In order to implement such a special audit, Schirp wants to request an extraordinary general meeting. For this he needs five percent of the share capital. According to his own statements, he currently represents 2.5 percent of the shares. Wirecard’s Annual General Meeting will take place on July 2.

Wirecard had started an audit by KPMG last year. Probably also in view of the strong stock price crashes that Wirecard recorded as a result of various reports by the British business newspaper “Financial Times” (FT). In a series of articles, the FT had repeatedly reported to the payment service provider about alleged irregularities in Singapore and Dubai.

Wirecard rejects all allegations. The long-time auditor EY had audited the consolidated financial statements without restriction for all past years. However, Wirecard CEO Markus Braun commissioned a special inspection based on the FT reports. This should initially be completed at the beginning of the year, as Braun explained in an interview with the Handelsblatt. Most recently, the group spoke of the end of the first quarter.

Change at the top of the supervisory board

In late Friday evening there was also a surprising change at the top of the Wirecard supervisory board. The previous head of the control committee, Wulf Matthias, resigned from the chair for personal reasons. His successor to the top of the board will be Thomas Eichelmann, who has been a member of the supervisory board since mid-2019 and heads the audit committee there.

Eichelmann used to be, among other things, CFO of Deutsche BOrse and was controversial there. His appointment to the Wirecard Supervisory Board had been received with some attention in the industry. Former colleagues find his manner and choice of words direct, some even rabid.

The change was welcomed on the stock exchange. Among the individual Dax stocks, Wirecard shares were among the biggest winners, with gains of up to 3.2 percent.

More: Thomas Eichelmann has been Chairman of the Supervisory Board since Friday night. There is enough to clean up at the Dax group.

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