Dubai-based Network International backs DPO deal, shares fall

DPO's links to collapsed firm Wirecard ignited investor concerns

  
Traders monitor stocks at the Dubai Stock Exchange in the Dubai World Trade Center.

Traders monitor stocks at the Dubai Stock Exchange in the Dubai World Trade Center.

REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah

Payments firm Network International on Monday again tried to allay investor concerns over its move to buy rival DPO by publishing responses to questions in its website on the deal and the African company's links to collapsed firm Wirecard.

"The Board is satisfied there is no evidence of wrongdoing by the DPO Group," said NI Chairman Ron Kalifa, while admitting that there were "limited associations" between DPO and some individuals that are "regrettable".

The doubts relate to DPO's unit AconaOnline (AO), which was bought from a former Wirecard executive Dietmar Knoechelmann. In response, Dubai-based NI clarified that Knoechelmann was a director of AO before it was purchased by DPO in 2013.

Shares in NI were 4% lower at 352 pence by 0839 GMT, after scaling a record level of 658 pence last February in their two-year history on the London Stock Exchange.

Investors concern over the proposed deal and a wider COVID-19 selloff wiped out half of NI's market value last year. Short-seller ShadowFall published a report last month questioning AO's connections to Wirecard.

Wirecard collapsed last year after disclosing a gaping hole in its books that its auditor said was due to a global fraud. 

(Reporting by Muvija M in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur) ((Muvija.M@thomsonreuters.com; within UK: +44 20 7542 1810, outside UK: +91 80 61822698; Twitter: https://twitter.com/muvija_m;))

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