The Hindu Business Line

German payments firm Wirecard faces questions in Chennai court over unit buy

- BLOOMBERG

Wirecard AG, the German online payments company dogged by an accounting scandal, faces new questions in a lawsuit about how much it paid for an Indian subsidiary.

The former owners of Hermes I-Tickets, a company Wirecard bought in 2015, are suing the German company over allegation­s it made false claims about how much it paid to them at the time, according to a lawsuit filed in Chennai. GI Retail Pvt Ltd is asking Wirecard to clarify details of the transactio­n. The lawsuit is the latest headache for Wirecard about alleged accounting issues at its Singapore operations. Hermes is also being investigat­ed by the Singapore police as part of the wider probe into potential wrongdoing at the German company’s Asian division.

A Wirecard investigat­ion found some of its Singapore employees may be criminally liable.

In the transactio­n at the centre of the lawsuit, Wirecard announced in October 2015 it agreed to pay up to $382 million to GI Retail to acquire its payment businesses. Wirecard bought Hermes, which specialise­d in selling travel tickets, for €216 million up front with an option to pay a further €110 million.

GI Retail claims in the lawsuit, however, that it was paid a fraction of that in a deal with a Mauritius-based fund called Emerging Markets Investment Fund 1A.

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