US Blocks Moneygram to China's Ant Financial
By Faith Magbanua, January 04, 2018 00:01 AM
With an amount of $1.2bn (£880m) sale, the money transfer firm Moneygram sale has been blocked by the United States to China's Ant Financial.
It is the highest profile Chinese deal to be rejected by Washington since Donald Trump came to power.
Meanwhile, regulators overseeing foreign investments in the US had refused to support the takeover, the firms said.
The geopolitical environment had "changed considerably" since the merger was announced last year, they added.
However, the sudden collapse of the deal is a blow to the ambitions of Alibaba's billionaire executive chairman Jack Ma, who had promised President Trump that he would create a million US jobs.
Alibaba, which owns Ant Financial together with other Alibaba executives, have seen that the US market has a way to expand overseas in the face of fierce domestic competition like Tencent's WeChat, for example.
In addition to that, in a joint statement on Tuesday, Ant Financial and Moneygram stated that they had abandoned the deal "following the inability of the companies to obtain the required approval for the transaction from the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, despite extensive efforts to address the Committee's concerns,"
According to Moneygram's chief executive Alex Holmes, he said he that was "disappointed" by the outcome and noted the "geopolitical environment has changed considerably" in the year since the deal was announced.
Prior to that, on September, the US blocked the $1.3bn sale of US Lattice Semiconductor to Chinese-backed Canyon Bridge Capital Partners, citing concerns over the "potential transfer" of intellectual property from Lattice, which makes advanced computer chips.
Other deals that have been frustrated by US objections include China Oceanwide Holdings Group's $2.7bn purchase of US life insurer Genworth Financial, and Chinese buyout firm Orient Hontai Capital's $1.4bn acquisition of US mobile marketing firm AppLovin.
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