US govt blocks Ant Financial-Moneygram merger
Written by Chris Lemmon
US remittance firm Moneygram has announced that its $1.2 billion merger deal with Chinese FinTech giant Ant Financial has been mutually terminated after failing to obtain the required approval from the US Committee on Foreign Investment (CFIUS).
But the two companies confirmed that they plan to continue to collaborate on new strategic initiatives in the digital payments market, bringing together their capabilities to provide respective customers with transfer services into emerging markets around the world.
Alex Holmes, chief executive officer of MoneyGram, said: “The geopolitical environment has changed considerably since we first announced the proposed transaction with Ant Financial nearly a year ago. Despite our best efforts to work cooperatively with the US government, it has now become clear that CFIUS will not approve this merger.
“We are disappointed in the termination of this compelling transaction, which would have created significant value for our stakeholders,” he continued. “The MoneyGram board and management team greatly appreciate the significant time and energy that so many of our colleagues have devoted to trying to complete the transaction.”
Doug Feagin, president of Ant Financial International, added: “We remain excited and encouraged about Ant Financial’s future prospects around the world as we continue to establish new partnerships and pursue opportunities that bring innovative services to our ecosystem.
“Establishing this new strategic cooperation with MoneyGram will add a partner with global remittance capabilities to our ecosystem and, while Ant Financial won’t have a direct ownership relationship with MoneyGram, we look forward to working closely with the MoneyGram team to make our platform even more accessible – particularly to unbanked and underserved communities globally – and create even better experiences for our customers.”
The two companies announced in April 2017 that they had agreed a $1.2 billion merger deal after Ant Financial upped its bid from $800 million.