Keen on building a global payments empire, Chinese billionaire Jack Ma might be drawn into joining a bidding war for money transfer company MoneyGram, according to an article by Yahoo Finance.
Ma, the man behind e-commerce giant Alibaba, has already struck an $800 million deal to buy the company through Ant Financial, Alibaba’s financial services company, back in January.
If Ant Financial is successful in acquiring MoneyGram, the company will be able to bypass all the legal and regulatory work required in establishing Ma’s global payments business, Yahoo Finance reported.
As of the moment, Ant Financial has a mobile wallet application called Alipay, which is used to pay for purchases and services online or in stores.
Although Alipay has expanded into other parts of Asia and India, the acquisition of MoneyGram by Ant will enable Alipay users, mostly based in China, to transfer money across the globe.
If Ma is unsuccessful, he’ll have to bring his global payments business from the ground up. This will involve establishing connections and partnerships with businesses and local banks from different countries.
Ma is not the only one interested in purchasing MoneyGram, however. Last week, Euronet, an e-payment services company based in Kansas, made a counter-offer of over $1 billion. According to a report by Reuters, MoneyGram has offered to open up its books to the US company so it can firm up its acquisition offer.
MoneyGram is one of the very few players in the global money-transfer industry. Its shares have opened for trading on March 20 at $16.29, 7 percent higher than Euronet’s bid and 23 percent above Ant Financial’s offer.
Ant Financial has been conjuring a plan for global expansion since last year. Doug Feagin, a former Goldman Sachs banker, was appointed as Ant’s Head of International Operations to lead the company’s expansion. Euronet’s offer, however, poses a serious threat to Ant’s, and Ma’s, plans.