A German financier who evangelises for bitcoin investing and psychedelic medication obtained €13m for brokering SoftBank’s controversial $1.1bn funding in Wirecard.
Christian Angermayer was paid by either side in an intricate deal, the place the popularity of the Japanese conglomerate because the world’s largest tech investor helped to deflect allegations of accounting fraud at Wirecard whereas producing giant income for SoftBank executives.
The funds specialist, a Dax 30 member, collapsed in June owing at the very least €3.2bn to banks and buyers, together with €900m ($1.1bn) of convertible bond debt issued to SoftBank after which offered on to outdoors buyers in September 2019 in a deal structured by Credit score Suisse.
The next month Wirecard paid Mr Angermayer a €11.25m “success charge”, equal to 1.25 per cent of the €900m raised, based on folks aware of the preparations.
SoftBank Funding Advisers, which manages the group’s $100bn Imaginative and prescient Fund, additionally paid Mr Angermayer round €2m for his position as intermediary, based on folks aware of the deal.
The capital dedicated to Wirecard got here from a aspect fund managed by SBIA on behalf of SoftBank senior executives and Mubadala, an Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund.
These buyers made a revenue within the tens of hundreds of thousands of euros from the onward sale of the debt however anticipated to reap a whole bunch of hundreds of thousands of euros extra due to publicity they retained to Wirecard’s fairness. Nevertheless, a lot of these potential income had been worn out following Wirecard’s share worth collapse in June.
The €900m debt, and a separate €500m bond issued on the similar time to generate an funding grade score for Wirecard from Moody’s, the credit standing company, is now the main focus of litigation by buyers nursing losses of virtually 90 per cent of their capital.
The settlement with Wirecard detailing the success charge for Mr Angermayer’s agency, Apeiron Advisory, was dated 20 April 2019. Days later the group introduced SoftBank’s funding, alongside a “strategic co-operation settlement”. The deal supplied a significant vote of confidence as Wirecard fought whistleblower allegations of accounting fraud reported by the Monetary Instances.
Wirecard, SBIA, and Mr Angermayer declined to remark.
The 42-year-old Mr Angermayer is a serial expertise investor and a vocal believer in the advantages of psilocybin — the energetic ingredient in “magic mushrooms”. His efforts to commercialise psychedelic substances for medical functions have drawn funding from Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Thiel and US cryptocurrencies investor Mike Novogratz, who’ve each partnered the German financier on a number of different ventures.
Mr Angermayer additionally performed a key position in serving to China’s HNA Group change into Deutsche Financial institution’s largest shareholder in 2017. His agency, Apeiron, formally suggested the enigmatic Chinese language conglomerate because it used derivatives to construct a close to 10 per cent stake in Germany’s largest lender, proudly owning the shares by means of a sequence of offshore holding firms.
That deal noticed his pal and enterprise associate Alexander Schütz, an Austrian financier, elected to Deutsche’s supervisory board. HNA subsequently unwound its stake because the Chinese language group struggled to deal with the towering debt load it amassed in a sequence of worldwide acquisitions.
Mr Angermayer has additionally backed quite a few enterprise ventures in Africa, forging a very shut bond with Rwanda’s president Paul Kagame. “Having completed enterprise in additional than 15 African international locations, there isn’t a nation like Rwanda: zero corruption, an incredible management and residents dedicated to the longer term,” the German investor wrote in a 2018 social media submit.
Mr Angermayer can also be a shareholder in Germany’s Northern Information, whose shares plunged by a 3rd this month after an nameless weblog submit questioned its enterprise and valuation. Northern Information strenuously denied the allegations.
He’s additionally a 13 per cent shareholder in Cyan, a small Frankfurt-listed digital safety group. It signed a strategic partnership settlement with Wirecard in July 2019, then in December offered the funds group €5m of software program, representing a fifth of the gross sales Cyan reported for 2019. No cost for the software program was made earlier than Wirecard filed for insolvency.
The Wall Avenue Journal first reported that Mr Angermayer was paid by SoftBank for introducing the group to Wirecard.
Further reporting by Olaf Storbeck in Frankfurt