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FRANKFURT / BADEN-BADEN (dpa-AFX) – The leasing specialist GRENKE does not want to publish the final report of the financial supervisory authority Bafin for the special audit by the authority. “In the very extensive report of the auditing firm Mazars commissioned by the Bafin, customer real names are named and the scoring processes we use to check customers are detailed,” said Supervisory Board Chairman Ernst-Moritz Lipp in an interview with the “Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung” (“FAZ” / Wednesday ). “It is not only legitimate that we do not reveal the secrets of our business model to competitors, but we are also obliged to do so to our shareholders,” said the chief controller.
Grenke had published an interim result of the special test in February and was largely relieved. Most of the allegations that the group has been exposed to since last fall are “absolutely baseless,” said Lipp. “Today we are the best-audited financial services provider in all of Europe,” he added.
The short seller and stock market speculator Fraser Perring had accused Grenke and his hedge fund Viceroy of tidying up the balance sheets and, among other things, deceiving investors with the construction of franchise companies abroad. Grenke had scheduled several tests of his own and also had to endure a special audit by the Bafin, which also revealed problems with compliance with the rules. The auditor KPMG finally issued the company with an unqualified certificate in mid-May after months of testing. However, the share has not fully recovered from the deep fall as a result of the allegations; it is currently bobbing at 37 euros. Before the allegations became known, it was worth around 55 euros.
With new staff on the supervisory board, the company now wants to regain trust. According to the announcement on Tuesday, the supervisory board for the general meeting on July 29 will fill several new positions. Among other things, company founder Wolfgang Grenke is leaving the controlling body, as already promised. His role in handling and taking over franchises had sparked much criticism.
“Of course I did not like some events in the past,” said Lipp in another interview with the “Handelsblatt” (Wednesday) about Wolfgang Grenke’s actions in the group. But there is no break. “Wolfgang Grenke will continue to play an important role as Spiritus Rector and advisor. The form in which he can be included is currently being examined,” Lipp told the newspaper./men/ck