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July 3, 2020

PineLabs eyes acquisition of Wirecard Asia operations

Mastercard-backed Indian payments startup PineLabs is weighing plans to acquire the Asia operations of scandal-hit German payments firm Wirecard, reported Economic Times.

The move comes as Wirecard filed for insolvency after $2bn of cash went missing from its balance sheet.

This resulted in the arrest of its CEO Marcus Braun.

Apart from PineLabs, Hitachi Payments and Atos-backed Worldline Technology also reportedly enquired about the sale of the Wirecard unit.

One of the sources stated: “Multiple other players have also expressed interest in the company’s assets in the region.

“The legality of the matter still has to be seen.”

Wirecard’s Asia unit serves around 20,000 merchants in India, Singapore, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Australia, and Malaysia markets among others.

However, the scandal surrounding the firm is expected to reduce the number of its merchant partners in India.

As a result, the companies would advance negotiations only when there is more clarity on the regulatory proceedings against Wirecard, the report said.

“The discussion is still in very early stages and it’s obviously challenging as there is an ongoing litigation against the company. There is also concern that Wirecard may lose its customers during any process of migration due to these proceedings,” the report said.

Meanwhile, Visa and Mastercard are looking to cut ties with Wirecard in the wake of the scandal.

Technology investor SoftBank too is weighing termination of its five-year partnership with the payments firm.


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