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Deutsche Bank makes bid for some Wirecard assets

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Deutsche Bank has submitted a bid for some of Wirecard's German assets, but the administrator of the insolvent payments company considers it too low, people familiar with the matter said.

[FRANKFURT] Deutsche Bank has submitted a bid for some of Wirecard's German assets, but the administrator of the insolvent payments company considers it too low, people familiar with the matter said.

The offer from Germany's largest lender for Wirecard Bank and some related companies was one of several, the people said. All the non-binding bids were well below 100 million euros (S$161.5 million), which Wirecard administrator Michael Jaffe sees as a minimum to proceed with a sale rather than a liquidation.

Wirecard collapsed in June after it said that about two billion euros it previously reported as cash didn't exist. Mr Jaffe has since been put in charge of selling assets to help pay back the more than three billion euros Wirecard owes to banks and other creditors.

He has since fired more than half of the German workforce to stem cash outflows and signed agreements to sell Wirecard's operations in Brazil and the UK. The sale of the US unit is making good progress as well, he said.

The low offers for the German assets, which include seven companies as well as Wirecard Bank, could make any sale difficult. Mr Jaffe needs to achieve a price that's higher than what can be earned from simply liquidating the companies, estimated at 100 to 200 million euros, the people said.

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Representatives for the administrator and Deutsche Bank declined to comment.

It's not clear whether Deutsche Bank is willing to raise its offer. Chief executive officer Christian Sewing has said he would only consider an acquisition of Wirecard assets if the payments technology proves superior to what Deutsche Bank already has.

Mr Sewing has made winning market share in payments a centrepiece of his strategy. The corporate bank, the division in charge of payments unit, is headed by Mr Sewing's confidante Stefan Hoops and is the only part of the bank that has received substantial investment of late. Among other moves, Mr Hoops has recently hired a string of well-known payments technology experts, including a former senior Wirecard executive.

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