Now this is interesting. Last month it was reported that Ant Financial, the banking and financial arm of Alibaba, was buying U.S. international money remittance provider MoneyGram. Finextra reported today that now Euronet wants in the game and has made a counter bid for Money Gram at a significant 15% premium over Ant’s offer:
Euronet Worldwide is testing the financial firepower and resolve of Alibaba’s Ant Financial unit by outbidding the Chinese behemoth’s $13.25 per share offer for US money transfer business MoneyGram International.
Euronet has made a proposal to acquire all shares outstanding of MoneyGram International for $15.20 in cash, valuing the company at more than $1 billion, in addition to the assumption of approximately $940 million of MoneyGram’s debt outstanding.
A Euronet deal appears on the outside to make more strategic sense. Euronet is already in the international remittance business through Ria, the (distant) third largest provider in the U.S. after MoneyGram with 150,000 agent locations worldwide. This combination would add not just customers and locations for Ria but some technology capabilities as well. We will have to watch and see if Ant finds the acquisition of MoneyGram strategic enough that they want to engage in a bidding war.
Overview by Sarah Grotta, Director, Debit Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Group
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