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April 18, 2017updated 18 May 2017 9:41am

Ant Financial raises bid by 36% to acquire MoneyGram

By Douglas Blakey

Ant Financial, the digital payments arm of e-commerce giant Alibaba, has increased its bid for US-based money transfer services provider MoneyGram by 36% from $880m to $1.2bn.

Following the acquisition, MoneyGram will operate as an independent subsidiary and retain its brand, management team, IT infrastructure and headquarters in Dallas, Texas.

The transaction, which is due for completion in the second half of 2017, is subject to the approval of MoneyGram stockholders, remaining regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.

In January 2017, Ant Financial agreed to acquire MoneyGram in a deal worth $880m.

Last month, MoneyGram also entered into agreement to consider Euronet Worldwide’s takeover offer of $15.20 per share.

MoneyGram executive chairman Pamela Patsley said: “Throughout this process, our board of directors has remained laser-focused on maximizing value for MoneyGram stockholders, while taking into account price, the ability to complete a transaction and other important considerations.

“We are pleased to offer even more value to our stockholders through the amendment of our merger agreement with Ant Financial.”

MoneyGram CEO Alex Holmes said: “We share Ant Financial’s commitment to successfully completing the transaction, which will allow us to grow our business, making money transfers easier for customers and providing a wider selection of services for the agents who serve them around the world.”

Ant Financial International president Doug Feagin said: “We look forward to joining forces with MoneyGram, which will add valuable cross-border remittance capabilities to the Ant Financial ecosystem, serving our more than 630 million users globally.

“Over the past few months, we have enjoyed working closely with the MoneyGram team and remain committed to our plans to invest further in the MoneyGram business. We plan to grow the U.S.-based team and create even greater opportunities for the MoneyGram community as we pursue our shared vision of global inclusive finance in an increasingly digital era.

“As part of Ant Financial, MoneyGram will have access to resources to further enhance its technology, systems and anti-money laundering and compliance programs.”

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