NACD - National Association of Corporate Directors

MoneyGram and Ant Financial Call Off Merger, Citing Regulatory Concerns

"United States officials have effectively killed a Chinese company's $1.2 billion plan to buy MoneyGram, the money transfer company," confirms the New York Times (Jan. 3, Swanson, Mozur), "signaling the Trump administration’s growing skepticism of Chinese purchases of American companies and of broader business ties between the two economic powers." MoneyGram and Ant Financial, the Chinese electronic payments company, announced yesterday that they had indeed canceled the deal after failing to obtain approval from a Washington panel that reviews foreign acquisitions of U.S. companies. The deal collapsed as tensions have grown over who will control the technologies of the future. "As the scotched deal shows," the Times adds, "China and America are also increasingly at loggerheads over whether private data will be kept safe as money and corporate ownership cross borders."

Forbes (Jan. 3, Babones) notes that MoneyGram would have given Ant Financial access to approximately 350,000 outlets covering almost every nation in the world. Western Union is the only other company with a comparable footprint, as it has more than 550,000 locations around the globe. MoneyGram and Western Union are not currently direct competitors to China's AliPay and WeChat. "But they both have global networks built over decades that could be leveraged by the Chinese fintech giants to enter markets all around the world," states Forbes.

CNNMoney (Jan. 3, Horowitz) adds that the deal between Ant Financial, an affiliate of Jack Ma's tech company Alibaba, and MoneyGram was first announced a year ago this