Ant Financial's MoneyGram acquisition Scrapped

Saturday, 13 Jan, 2018

"Ma, the founder of Alibaba, the world's largest online commerce platform, met with [President-elect] Trump previous year and said he could create 1 million jobs in the helping small businesses sell their products to the Chinese".

"Despite our best efforts to work cooperatively with the USA government, it has now become clear that CFIUS [Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States] will not approve this merger", MoneyGram CEO Alex Holmes said in a statement.

Trump told reporters that he and Ma had a "great meeting" and would do great things together.

The agreement had been under review by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, the inter-agency body that vets deals that could give a foreign investor control of a USA business. That compares with 15 percent for Asia-Pacific-focused deals and 8 percent in Europe. A lot of technology companies are becoming increasingly global, so they have to go to the US.

The CFIUS is as an interagency group of regulators based out of the Treasury Department that reviews pending foreign purchases of USA businesses for national security concerns. A bipartisan effort is underway to pass a law to further strengthen CFIUS in order to address security concerns from Chinese and other acquisitions.

Xinhua said on Wednesday the U.S. But that said, Ant's home market is China, and thus it might be hard for the company to refuse a request for MoneyGram-based information from Beijing, even if that information were related to its offshore business with no connection to China.

"We remain excited and encouraged about Ant Financial's future prospects around the world as we continue to establish new partnerships and pursue opportunities that bring innovative services to our ecosystem". Instead of equity, it opted to lend the group $841 million. In May, Alipay cemented a deal with New York-based payment technology firm First Data, giving US stores the ability to accept Alipay from Chinese tourists and overseas customers. That initial agreement was amended in April 2017.

Another high-profile deal before CFIUS is the purchase by HNA Group of SkyBridge Capital LLC, a hedge fund of funds firm, from Anthony Scaramucci, the Trump administration's former communications director. "We can not afford to ignore well-coordinated Chinese investments that target our critical and financial infrastructure", they added.

Randall Stephenson's AT&T was one of the biggest donors to Trump's inauguration but still saw the Department of Justice sue to stop AT&T's $85 billion merger with Time Warner.