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Alibaba’s Ant Financial buys US firm MoneyGram

January 26, 2017 12:21 PM
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(Bloomberg)—Ant Financial, the Alibaba affiliate controlled by billionaire Jack Ma, is buying U.S. money-transfer service MoneyGram International Inc. for $880 million.

The acquisition marks Ant’s first deal with a U.S.-listed company, as it begins to explore markets beyond a home arena it already dominates. Ant Financial is offering $13.25 per share in cash, according to a statement Thursday. Ant runs China’s biggest online payment service, Alipay, and controls the company that manages Yu’E Bao, the nation’s largest money-market fund.

Shares of Dallas-based MoneyGram closed Wednesday at $11.88, giving the company a market value of $630 million. The company will continue to be based in the U.S. and operate under its existing brand.

MoneyGram helps consumers and businesses move money around the world through hundreds of thousands of physical outlets. It’s partnered with Wal-Mart Stores Inc., No. 4 in the Internet Retailer 2016 Top 500 Guide, as the U.S. retailer’s money-transfer agent, and also lets clients pay for everything from their mortgages to utility bills.

 

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