Briefing

Wirecard North America seeks buyer amid scandal at its parent company

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The North American division of German payment-processing firm Wirecard, has hired an investment bank to find an acquirer. (The Logic)

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Talking point: The announcement comes on the heels of Wirecard’s bankruptcy filing last week following charges against the firm’s recently resigned CEO Markus Braun, who is accused of “inflating Wirecard AG’s sales volume with fake income.” The US$2.1-billion discrepancy on the company’s books has compelled Germany to overhaul its accounting oversight rules. In a news release announcing its sale process, Wirecard North America distanced itself from its parent company, emphasizing it is a “self-sustaining entity that is substantially autonomous from Wirecard AG.” It also noted its U.S. and Canadian customers, which include WestJet, haven’t had their services disrupted because of the scandal. Selling while its business is still intact could help the North American division—which Wirecard acquired in 2016—safeguard against any ripple-effect from the damage to the brand of its parent firm.