November 21, 2019 / 4:16 PM / 24 days ago

Uber denies report it in talks with Germany's Wirecard

FILE PHOTO: A screen displays the company logo for Uber Technologies Inc. on the day of it's IPO at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., May 10, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

BERLIN (Reuters) - Ride hailing company Uber denied a German magazine report on Thursday that it was considering hiring Wirecard as its main payments partner to replace Dutch platform Adyen.

“We are not in conversations with Wirecard for card acquiring,” an Uber spokeswoman said in an email to Reuters when asked whether the report, in Manager Magazine, was accurate. Acquiring is handling customer payments on behalf of merchants.

Manager Magazine, on page eight of a 17-page special report on Wirecard, quoted CEO Markus Braun as saying that talks on payments deals with more than a dozen Softbank Group companies were “already very far advanced”.

In the next sentence, the magazine stated without clear attribution that Uber was “flirting with switching from main competitor Adyen” to Wirecard.

A Softbank fund earlier this year invested in Wirecard via a convertible bond, paving the way for a handful of payments deals with companies the Japanese investor has backed, including German used-car trading platform AUTO1.

Wirecard is under intense scrutiny following a series of reports in the Financial Times that alleged fraud and false accounting. The company, which denies all wrongdoing, has hired auditor KMPG to investigate the allegations.

Reporting by Douglas Busvine; Editing by Tom Sims and Alexandra Hudson

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