German payments-company Wirecard is suing the Financial Times for its coverage

  • The German payments-company Wirecard is suing the Financial Times over its investigative reports into its business practice, according to Reuters.
  • Wirecard has been the focus of a series of articles in the Financial Times which the company alleges used and misrepresented business secrets.
  • The Financial Times’ reporting has hit Wirecard’s reputation hard, wiping billions off the fintech’s market value.

German blue chip fintech Wirecard is suing British newspaper the Financial Times and one of its reporters for allegedly misrepresenting its business secrets in a series of investigative articles.

Wirecard has been the focus of a series of articles in the Financial Times, including by reporter Dan McCrum the journalist being sued, which the company alleges used and misrepresented business secrets, according to Reuters.

The company’s shares have taken a pounding from the articles’ allegations. Earlier this year they became worth about 4 billion euros more than Deutsche Bank, Germany’s largest lender, according to Bloomberg data. They remain slightly higher than Deutsche’s despite having fallen 26.8% since the initial report.

The FT’s reporting centered on an alleged accounting scandal at Wirecard’s Singapore offices. The publication said that Wirecard’s management may have used false contracts, possibly to inflate revenue.

Wirecard previously announced its plans to seek action against the Financial Times in February, and has now done so after filing a complaint in a Munich court.

“Our objective is to seek a halt to the incorrect use of business secrets for the purposes of reporting, as well as damages,” Wirecard said in a statement to Reuters. The FT did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Short selling Wirecard was recently banned by Germany’s Federal Financial Supervisory Authority, better known as BaFin, in an unprecedented move. The short ban was necessary, BaFin said, because Wirecard’s circumstances “constitute a serious threat to market confidence in Germany.”

Wirecard shares are down 1.4% Thursday.

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