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China’s Ant Financial to merge MoneyGram for $880m

Published 27 January 2017

China’s Ant Financial Services has entered into an agreement to acquire global money transfer services firm MoneyGram in a cash deal worth $880m.

The merger is expected to result in connecting MoneyGram's money transfer network of 2.4 billion bank and mobile accounts and 350,000 physical locations with Ant Financial's users.

The combined entity will offer financial services in over 200 countries and territories.

Ant Financial chief executive officer Eric Jing said: "The acquisition of MoneyGram is a significant milestone in our mission to bring inclusive financial services to users around the world.

"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."

After the completion of the transaction, MoneyGram will remain headquartered in Dallas and continue to operate under its existing brand.

The merger will enable MoneyGram to leverage Ant Financial's global presence and existing network to serve more than 630 million users.

MoneyGram chief executive officer Alex Holmes said: “MoneyGram can now accelerate and expand our suite of global hybrid solutions and integrate an even larger digital and physical network, making money transfers easier for customers and providing a wider selection of services for the agents who serve them around the world.”

The transaction will also help Ant Financial to expand its business to new global markets following its recent partnerships with Paytm in India and Ascend Money in Thailand.

While Citi is acting as a financial advisor to Ant Financial in the transaction, BofA Merrill Lynch is financial advisor to MoneyGram.

Image:The merger will enable MoneyGram to leverage Ant Financial's global presence. Photo courtesy of Stuart Miles/FreeDigitalPhotos.net.