Softbank invests €900m in troubled payments challenger Wirecard

By Roger Baird on 24th April 2019

The Japanese conglomerate said it will also collaborate on new digital lending products and services with Wirecard.

Softbank invests €900m in troubled payments challenger Wirecard

Japanese conglomerate Softbank has agreed to invest €900m in beleaguered German payments firm Wirecard.

Wirecard said that it will issue five-year convertible bonds, selling them exclusively to SoftBank, giving the the Asian investor a 5.6 per cent stake in the business.

The deal is still subject to the approval of Wirecard shareholders, who vote on the move on 18 June.

As part of the agreement, Softbank will help Wirecard’s expansion into Japan and South Korea. The pair have also agreed to explore “new product and service offers in digital lending”.

Wirecard chief executive Markus Braun said: “In SoftBank we have found a partner that shares both our passion for new technologies and drive to spearhead the latest innovations, all on a global scale.”

The company  has seen its shares tumble following a January report by The Financial Times of an accounting scandal at its Singapore office, which alleged that Wirecard executives forged and backdated contracts, possibly to inflate revenue.

Wirecard, based in Aschheim, northern Germany, was founded in 1999.

SoftBank's Vision Fund, led by Masayoshi Son, has over $100bn of committed capital in tech firms, including tech giants such as Alibaba and Uber.

In February, Softbank led $440m of investment into British business challenger bank OakNorth ahead of its launch into the US market, expected later this year.

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