Munich (dpa) – Following the collapse of the scandalous company Wirecard, a good 11,500 creditors of the insolvent payment service provider registered claims totaling more than 12 billion euros. The Munich district court announced this on Wednesday after the first meeting of creditors.
Unsurprisingly, the recorded accounts receivable exceed many times the income obtained so far in the liquidation of the group. The very high sum of a good 12.4 billion euros can be explained by the fact that, in addition to damaged banks, investors and business partners, many shareholders have also filed damage claims. However, that’s not the bottom line: creditors can also register their claims later, and previous records have yet to be verified or recognized.
The company, which was once marketed as the German hope for technology, also has an exceptionally negative position in this regard: according to calculations by credit reporting agency Creditreform, there were 19,400 corporate insolvencies in Germany in 2019, so the Average loss for creditors was 856,000 euros, significantly less than 12.4 Billion euros.
Wirecard’s creditors and their attorneys expect the insolvency administrator to repay at least part of the lost billions for the foreseeable future. represents aggrieved shareholders. “But if there is a fortune that can be distributed among the creditors, that can happen in two or three years.”
The main question of creditors: how much money can they expect? Wirecard’s insolvency administrator Michael Jaffé did not provide figures. “It is difficult to estimate the rate today,” said attorney Mattil. According to information from financial circles, Jaffé has so far generated around 500 million euros from the sale of parts and technology of the company. More sales are planned, but it is ruled out that the bankruptcy administrator will fully recover the billions that have been lost.
In person, only 74 participants attended the meeting at the Löwenbräukeller in Munich, including lawyers like Mattil, who represent the claims of numerous creditors. The district court has called a total of seven creditor meetings, which should last two days. In addition to the parent company Wirecard AG, six subsidiaries are also insolvent and each company has its own board of creditors.
The former DAX group filed for bankruptcy in June after admitting phantom deals, only banks and investors have lost more than three billion euros, according to calculations by the Munich prosecutor. The Munich prosecution charges former CEO Markus Braun and his co-defendants with commercial gang fraud.
In addition to the losses of lending banks and investors, suppliers and other trading partners, there are the disproportionately higher price losses of Wirecard’s share: when it was listed in Dax in September 2018 on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, the company it was worth more than 23 billion euros, after bankruptcy and when the share price fell, it was less than 100 million. In addition to institutional investors, this also affected a large number of small shareholders.
From a legal perspective, shareholders are not creditors of an insolvent company, but shareholders; as such, they often get nothing in insolvency proceedings. However, if, as with Wirecard, it is a case of major fraud, shareholders can register their claims for damages with the insolvency administrator, as a spokesperson for the DSW investment community in Düsseldorf said. However, the DSW also emphasizes that a forecast of the amount of possible refunds is not possible.
The Wirecard scandal will come into focus again this Thursday: Former CEO Markus Braun, who has been in detention since the summer, will testify before the Bundestag’s investigative committee.