By Mauro Orru

 

Wirecard AG's shares slumped Tuesday as KPMG's independent audit into allegations of accounting impropriety at the company came to an end, with the big-four accountancy firm unable to prove revenue from Wirecard's third-party acquiring business due to a lack of data.

At 1340 GMT, Wirecard shares traded 26% lower at EUR98.00.

The German digital-payment services company commissioned an independent audit--which KPMG had been conducting since October 2019--after a series of reports in the Financial Times alleging accounting impropriety at Wirecard.

Wirecard said early Tuesday that the audit into its activities in India, Singapore, its merchant cash advance division, as well as its third-party acquiring business, found no incriminating evidence of balance sheet manipulation for 2016, 2017 and 2018.

"This is overall positive news for Wirecard and we expect the stock to eventually rerate. However, the lack of evidence to prove 2016-18 revenue from the third-party acquiring business will probably continue to weigh on the stock in the short term," said David Vignon, analyst at European investment bank Bryan Garnier.

Wirecard said that while "available evidence and audit procedures were sufficient to provide evidence of the revenues" from the third-party acquiring business, not all data could be obtained to prove revenue for 2016, 2017 and 2018 as the requested documents are mostly in the third-party partner's access area.

The company added that KPMG didn't find any evidence suggesting that the purchase price for the acquisition of the payment businesses of Great Indian Retail Group wasn't objectively justified.

Wirecard acquired the payments business of Great Indian Retail Group for EUR230 million and further payments of up to EUR110 million in connection with the financial performance of the acquired businesses for 2015, 2016 and 2017.

Wirecard said it made the payments exclusively to the seller, "whose beneficial owner could not be finally verified by KPMG on the basis of public registers."

 

Write to Mauro Orru at mauro.orru@wsj.com; @MauroOrru94

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 28, 2020 09:58 ET (13:58 GMT)

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