February 8, 2019
FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Wirecard, the German payments company, said on Friday it would sue the Financial Times over the publication of three investigative reports alleging fraud and creative accounting at its Singapore office.
The latest, published online on Thursday, alleged that Wirecard staffers had engaged in the ’round-tripping’ of funds to inflate reported revenues, and that managers from its Munich head office had been aware of the practice.
“In the article published yesterday, Wirecard employees are slanderously prejudged with unproven and false allegations,” Wirecard said in a statement issued in English that described the FT’s reporting as defamatory.
“We will use all available legal means to protect the company and in particular our employees and their personal rights. Wirecard is taking legal actions against FT and its unethical reporting.”
Wirecard did not say in which jurisdiction it planned to bring a lawsuit. A spokeswoman added the company would act to protect the personal reputations of individuals named in the newspaper’s reporting.
The company is cooperating with the authorities in ongoing investigations into suspected market manipulation in Wirecard stock being conducted by Germany’s Bafin financial regulator and the Munich state prosecutor.
The FT did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Wirecard shares rallied by 5 percent following the company’s statement, but are still down by a third since the FT ran its first story at the end of January.
(Reporting by Douglas Busvine, additional reporting by Rachel Armstrong in London; Editing by Keith Weir; Editing by Michelle Martin/Keith Weir)