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Wirecard sues FT over investigative reports

FILE PHOTO: The headquarters of Wirecard AG, an independent provider of outsourcing and white label solutions for electronic payment transactions is seen in Aschheim near Munich, Germany September 6, 2018. REUTERS/Michael Dalder

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - German payments company Wirecard said on Thursday it was suing the Financial Times over a series of investigative reports that it said made use of, and misrepresented, business secrets.

Wirecard has filed a suit at the Munich regional court against both the FT and its reporter, Dan McCrum, seeking a ruling on the merits of its case. If successful, the company would then press for monetary redress.

“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. No comment was immediately available from the FT.

The fightback comes after the FT alleged in January that Wirecard’s Singapore staff had engaged in fraud and false accounting, basing its reporting on a law firm’s probe of allegations made by an unnamed whistleblower.

The newspaper’s revelations wiped billions off the market value of Wirecard, Germany’s leading ‘fintech’ company that only last year was promoted to the blue-chip DAX index, and triggered an investigation by Singapore police.

Wirecard said on Monday that the final results of a probe by outside law firm Rajah & Tann had found that local staff in Singapore may have committed financial crimes, but that these were not material and there was no evidence that its German head office was complicit.

Reporting by Douglas Busvine; Editing by Michelle Martin