Deutsche Bank said to pull out of Wirecard bank sale over price
INTERNATIONAL - Deutsche Bank AG has dropped its pursuit of Wirecard AG’s banking unit and related assets after balking at the price sought by the payments company’s insolvency administrator, according to a person familiar with the matter.
Wirecard’s insolvency administrator, Michael Jaffe, had been seeking at least 100 million euros (R1.96 billion) to proceed with a sale of the assets rather than a liquidation, people familiar with the matter have said. Deutsche Bank had submitted a bid for some of Wirecard’s German assets, but the offer was considered too low, Bloomberg reported last week.
A Deutsche Bank spokesman declined to comment on the sale process, while saying a purchase of Wirecard Bank was only one of several options the German lender has to grow its payments business.
Wirecard collapsed in June after saying that almost 2 billion euros it previously reported as cash didn’t exist. Jaffe has been put in charge of selling assets to help pay back the more than 3 billion euros Wirecard owes to banks and other creditors. He has fired more than half of the German workforce to stem cash outflows and signed agreements to sell operations in Brazil and the UK.
Deutsche Bank Chief Executive Officer Christian Sewing has made winning market share in payments a centerpiece of his strategy. He has also said that he would only acquire Wirecard assets if the payments technology proves superior to that of his firm.
Sewing’s corporate bank, the division in charge of payments unit, is the only part of Deutsche Bank that has received substantial investment of late. Among other moves, it has hired a string of well-known payments technology experts, including a former senior Wirecard executive.