April 23, 2019 / 8:50 PM / 3 months ago

SoftBank Group looks to buy 5 pct of payment firm Wirecard: Bloomberg

FILE PHOTO: The logo of SoftBank Group Corp is displayed at SoftBank World 2017 conference in Tokyo, Japan, July 20, 2017. REUTERS/Issei Kato

(Reuters) - Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp is looking to acquire a 5 percent stake in German payments company Wirecard AG, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday, citing people familiar with the matter.

SoftBank has engaged financial advisers and is working on a deal to acquire bonds that can be converted into Wirecard shares, Bloomberg reported, citing sources.

A deal could be announced as early as this month, if an agreement is reached, the report added.

SoftBank declined comment on the matter when contacted by Reuters while Wirecard was not immediately available for comment.

The investment talks come as Wirecard defends itself against Financial Times newspaper reports earlier this year saying staff at its Asian operations had inflated reported revenue.

Last month, Wirecard said an outside law firm investigating the matter found local staff at its Singapore office may have committed crimes but these were not material to the German payment company’s financial position.

Reporting by Mekhla Raina in BENGALURU; Additional reporting by Supriya Roy in BENGALURU; Editing by Tom Brown and Christopher Cushing

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