The German regulator BaFin has announced that it will examine the allegations made by short-seller Fraser Perring about a report of his Delaware registered Viceroy. The German watchdog would have learned from Wirecard, says Raimund Roesler, who is responsible for banking supervision at BaFin:
Wirecard is still following us, of course. It has also led to the fact that we at GRENKE are now quite sensitive. I can’t say now what exactly we are planning. But unlike Wirecard, we have the advantage that we are dealing with a company that is completely under our supervision.Raimund Röseler, BaFin Banking Supervision
The smoking gun of Fraser Perring’s accusations is located in Vienna in the traditional Marc Aurel Street 5 – the CTP Handels- und Beteiligungs GmbH (“CTP GmbH“). One could perhaps also call it the potential crime scene if a crime was actually committed. Only about 50 meters away is the SuperFund and only 30 meters away on the other side of the street is the luxury fish restaurant Kornat (see website). Marc Aurel Street is certainly one of the best addresses in Vienna.
According to the unanimous view of both the Viceroy Report and the statement of the GRENKE AG, the CTP GmbH is at the center of the now heavily criticized franchise system of the MDAX-listed company. As a venture capitalist, the company has and still is acting as an incubator and provides finance for new franchise companies which are typically established by (former) employees of GRENKE AG and/or individuals from the network of its founder Wolfgang Grenke. They are then sold to the GRENKE AG after a few years. This approach has resulted in annual profits in the many millions for CTP.
While Perring in his Viceroy Report alleges irregularities and balance sheet manipulation in the environment of the CTP GmbH, the GRENKE AG does not see any of that. All perfectly legal and compliant, they say. But the supervisory board has already approved the execution of a special audit by an independent auditing firm. In addition, the acting auditor KPMG is to audit. And now also the BaFin.
Hence, it can be assumed that there will be a lot of visitors at Marc Aurel Strasse 5 in the coming weeks and months. This can only be excellent news for the Viennese city tourism and the Kornat fish restaurant, which is crisis-ridden by the COVID-19 pandemic.