The tech firm said in a statement Monday that after “further examination,” its board believes there is a “prevailing likelihood” that €1.9 billion ($2.1 billion) in cash that was supposed to be in its accounts does not exist.
On Monday, the company withdrew its preliminary results for 2019, the first quarter of 2020 and its profit forecast for 2020. It warned that financial results from previous years may also be affected.
CEO Markus Braun resigned on Friday after EY said the cash, which makes up roughly a quarter of the company’s assets, could not be located. Before he quit, Braun suggested the company may have been the victim of massive fraud.
The search for the missing funds had focused on the Philippines, but the country’s central bank said in a statement Sunday that it had no record of the money entering its financial system. The central bank has opened an investigation, it added.
Wirecard is now scrambling to find the money to keep creditors at bay. Wirecard said late Friday that it had hired investment bank Houlihan Lokey to come up with a new financing strategy.
Founded in 1999, Wirecard was once considered one of the most promising tech firms in Europe. It processes payments for consumers and businesses, and sells data analytics services. The company, which has nearly 6,000 employees in 26 countries around the world, reported revenues of over €2 billion ($2.2 billion) in 2018, or more than four times the figure from 2013.
On Monday, the stock was trading as low as €13 ($14.56), valuing the company at less than €2 billion ($2.2 billion).
The implosion follows a tumultuous 18 months for the company punctuated by allegations of fraud, attacks by short sellers and questions over its accounting practices.
— Eoin McSweeney contributed reporting.