China’s Ant Financial has sweetened its bid for MoneyGram International Inc. by over a third, beating a rival offer to gain approval from the U.S. electronic payment firm’s board, although it still faces regulatory hurdles.
Ant’s plans to expand globally with the acquisition of one of the biggest firms in remittances hit a major snag last month when Leawood, Kansas-based Euronet Worldwide Inc. made an unsolicited offer and openly lobbied U.S lawmakers, saying Ant’s proposal created a national security risk.
Ant, the finance affiliate of e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., hiked its bid 36 percent to $18 per share in cash, valuing MoneyGram at around $1.2 billion.
The new offer easily beats the $15.20 per share proposed by Euronet and represents a 9 percent premium to MoneyGram’s last traded share price on Thursday. Euronet declined to comment on Ant’s fresh bid.
Read more: St. Louis Post-Dispatch