- REUTERS/Bobby Yip
Ant Financial, the finance company spun out of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, has agreed a deal to buy MoneyGram for $880 million.
The merger between Ant Financial Services Group and US money-transfer company MoneyGram was first reported by the Wall Street Journal on Thursday and confirmed over email to Business Insider.
The deal represents a 20% premium on MoneyGram’s closing price on Wednesday, which valued the company around $630 million at the close, according to Reuters data.
Ant Financial said in a statement confirming the deal that it would “provide consumers in over 200 countries and territories with convenient and accessible financial services, which furthers Ant Financial’s mission to promote equal access to financial services globally.”
MoneyGram has a global network of about 350,000 locations around the world where money transfers are sent and received.
Ant Financial, whose anchor business is Alipay, China’s largest online payments service, was spun off from Alibaba in 2011. It claims to have over 450 million users in China and last year had one of the biggest private funding rounds ever, raising $4.5 billion at a $60 billion valuation.
Eric Jing, CEO of Ant Financial, says in an emailed statement: “We believe financial services should be simple, low-cost and accessible to the many, not the few.
“The combination of Ant Financial and MoneyGram will provide greater access, security and simplicity for people around the world to remit funds, especially in major economies such as the United States, China, India, Mexico and the Philippines.”
MoneyGram will remain headquartered in Dallas, Texas, and continue to operate under its existing brand. Jing says in his emailed statement that Ant Financial is “committed to continuing to invest in MoneyGram’s workforce and growing jobs in the United States.”
Alex Holmes, CEO of MoneyGram, says in a statement: “Ant Financial is an ideal partner for MoneyGram; together, we will be able to expand our business and, in doing so, offer more people around the world access to a reliable financial connection to loved ones.”
Citi advised Ant Financial on the deal and Bank of America Merrill Lynch acted as advisors to MoneyGram.
The Chinese company previously said it had planned an initial public offering this year, although a timetable or location for its listing have not been determined.