Ant Financial, e-commerce giant Alibaba’s financial arm, announced late on Thursday that it has reached a deal to acquire U.S. money-transfer company MoneyGram for 880 million U.S. dollars.
“The acquisition of MoneyGram is a significant milestone in our mission to bring inclusive financial services to users around the world,” said Eric Jing, chief executive officer of Ant Financial Services Group. The company owns Alipay, one of China’s biggest online payment platforms and controls the company that manages the country’s largest money market fund, Yu’ebao.
The transaction will connect MoneyGram’s money transfer network of 2.4 billion bank and mobile accounts and 350,000 physical locations with Ant Financial’s users, according to the statement. MoneyGram will remain headquartered in Dallas and continue to operate under its existing brand, it said. The transaction will help expand Ant Financial’s business following its partnering with Paytm in India and Ascend Money in Thailand, it said.
Alex Holmes, CEO of MoneyGram, said Ant Financial is an ideal partner. “We will be able to expand our business, and in doing so, offer people around the world access to a reliable financial connection to loved ones,” Holmes said. The transaction is subject to approval of MoneyGram’s stockholders and regulatory approvals. The acquisitions is expected to finish in second half of 2017.