Spain’s Banco Santander has closed a deal for insolvent Wirecard’s technology platform in what could be a final chapter in disposition of the scandal-plagued German payment processor’s assets.
In a sign of the complexity of the wind-down process — and the potential legal concerns on the part of one of the world’s largest banks in acquiring the assets of the troubled FinTech — news of the deal broke Monday afternoon (Nov. 16) in two separate press releases.
Insolvency administrator Michael Jaffé in Frankfurt announced that Santander had acquired Wirecard’s technology platform, as well as all of its “highly specialized technological assets.”
Santander paid more than $118 million for Wirecard’s technology platform and its other technological assets, Reuters reported, citing a source.
Jan Marsalek, Wirecard’s former chief operating officer, vanished not long after the company acknowledged on June 18 that $2 billion in cash that it claimed it had stashed in a pair of banks in the Philippines actually did not exist.
The German payments, once valued at $28 billion, filed for insolvency soon after.
“We have completed the investor process for Wirecard Core successfully despite the most unfavorable conditions,” Jaffé said in his statement. “This is even more remarkable because the whole process has been overshadowed by ever-new scandal reports of past events and initially no liquidity was available to maintain business operations.”
In its own statement, Santander confirmed buying “several highly specialised technological assets from the merchant payments business of Wirecard in Europe” with hopes of accelerating the growth on the continent of its own digital payments unit.
Santander said it also plans to bring on board 500 Wirecard employees, who will be folded into the bank’s digital payments service, Getnet, with plans for a final closing by year’s end after the necessary regulatory approvals are obtained
But Santander, in its statement, also made clear as well what it is not acquiring or taking on responsibility for.
“The acquisition does not include Wirecard companies and Santander will not assume any legal liability relating to Wirecard AG and Wirecard Bank AG or its past actions,” the bank said.