Alibaba’s conquest to own a piece of the global money transfer industry just suffered a huge blow after Euronet outbid its fintech affiliate business for the proposed acquisition of MoneyGram, a popular option for cross-border money transfers.
Ant Financial, the Alibaba-controlled unit that runs Alipay (among other services), bid $880 million for MoneyGram back in January, but now Euronet is offering more than $1 billion for the company.
Euronet, which operates services like Epay, HiFix and XE, is offering to pay $15.20 per share for Nasdaq-listed MoneyGram, thus outbidding Ant Financial, which proposed $13.25 for its deal. Euronet said that, aside from offering 15 percent more than Ant Financial, its bid offers a compelling 28 percent premium on MoneyGram’s trade-share price, which was suspended following the first buyout offer.
Ant Financial, meanwhile, is breaking new ground with its proposed acquisition. It has specialized in digital and has no real offline presence, which is where MoneyGram — which runs a vast offline network to distribute payments worldwide — could complement it. Ant Financial claims 450 million users in China, where it is best known as the Alibaba spinout that houses China’s dominant mobile payment platform Alipay and Alibaba’s digital banking and financial services platform.