Ant Financial to try again for US approval of MoneyGram deal: source

September 17, 2017 - 9:36 AM
A logo of Ant Financial is displayed at the Ant Financial event in Hong Kong, China November 1, 2016. REUTERS File Photo

Chinese payments company Ant Financial is planning to resubmit its application for US review of its deal to buy MoneyGram International Inc for $1.2 billion, a source familiar with the matter said on Friday.

Ant Financial and MoneyGram have already refiled for clearance from Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) when they were unable to secure it within an assessment period after the first application, Reuters reported in July, citing sources.

“We are not commenting on the CFIUS process, but we are continuing to work with the various regulatory agencies and remain focused on closing the transaction by the end of the year,” the company said in a statement.

Ant Financial’s latest attempt for approval would be its third as the maximum time of 75 days for assessing such applications nears completion.

CFIUS is a secretive government panel which reviews acquisitions by foreign entities for potential national security risks.

A CFIUS refile indicates increased government scrutiny and more deals have been resubmitted to CFIUS since the inauguration of US President Donald Trump in January.

CFIUS had objected to at least nine acquisitions of US companies by foreign buyers by July 20, Reuters reported, citing people familiar with the matter said.

Ant Financial finalized its deal to buy Dallas-based MoneyGram in April, after it sweetened its bid by over a third to beat a rival offer from US-based Euronet Worldwide Inc.

MoneyGram, and CFIUS could not immediately be reached for comment.

Ant Financial’s plans were earlier reported by Bloomberg.