Ant Financial's seriously upped its bid for MoneyGram International to see off Euronet offer

Lynsey Barber
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Jack Ma's Ant FInancial has seen off competition for MoneyGram with a higher offer

Ant Financial, the Chinese fintech giant from Jack Ma's Alibaba, has upped its bid for US money transfer firm MoneyGram.

It has offered a 36 per cent premium on its original offer price to fend off a rival offer from Euronet

An $18 (£14.35) per share all cash offer worth more than $1.2bn has been approved by MoneyGram's board, Ant Financial has said.

"Throughout this process, our board of directors has remained laser-focused on maximising value for MoneyGram stockholders, while taking into account price, the ability to complete a transaction and other important considerations," said the US firm's executive chairman Pamela Patsley.

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"We are pleased to offer even more value to our stockholders through the amendment of our merger agreement with Ant Financial. We continue to be excited about the transaction, which we are confident will provide substantial benefits to all of our stakeholders, including stockholders, customers, agents and employees."

The move gives Ant Financial, which is behind the hugely successful Alipay in China, an important foothold in the US market.

Euronet, a Dallas-based payments company swooped in with a $15.20 per share bid, trumping Ant Financial's original $13.25 bid and proposing its deal would more likely get regulatory approval.

Read more: London holds on to global fintech lead (but other cities are chasing)

"Over the past few months, we have enjoyed working closely with the MoneyGram team and remain committed to our plans to invest further in the MoneyGram business," said Ant Financial International president Doug Feagin.

"We plan to grow the US-based team and create even greater opportunities for the MoneyGram community as we pursue our shared vision of global inclusive finance in an increasingly digital era."

The firm said it is has already made "significant progress" towards gaining approval from regulators and expects the deal to close in the second half of the year.

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