The Strategist

Jack Ma's company to pay $ 880 million for MoneyGram

01/27/2017 - 14:37

Ant Financial, financial arm of Chinese online retailer Alibaba, buys money transfer service MoneyGram for $ 880 million, Bloomberg reported. The deal will be closed in the second half of 2017 after receiving approval of regulators. Chinese company will pay $ 13.25 for each MoneyGram’s paper, which is 11.5% above the closing price on 25 January.

Mike Mozart
Mike Mozart
Now, MoneyGram has 350 thousand offices around the world, and 2.4 billion of client accounts. Ant Financial takes up half of the Chinese market of online payments. It serves around 450 million customers in China by providing various services, from wealth management and insurance to consumer loans. Its value was estimated at $ 75 billion in September last year. Now, the company wants to develop foreign markets as its WeChat payment, its main domestic competition, is seizing China. Previously, the company has partnered with Paytm in India and Ascend Money in Thailand.

"It is a very attractive deal for us, we have a large consumer base in the United States," - commented Douglas Feagin, Ant Financial’s representative responsible for global operations. "Remittance is a very important step, and we think that it is a great way for us to establish our presence among American consumers," - he explained. 

The deal has been announced at a time when MoneyGram found itself under a threat due to the US President Donald Trump’s intentions to limit migration. Many migrants from Mexico working in the United States are using the service to send money to their families. According to Bloomberg Intelligence, Mexico accounts for about 10% of the service’s transaction.

Meanwhile, Chinese Internet giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. raised its forecast revenue for the current fiscal year, registering a higher-than-expected profit and revenue for the third financial quarter. Net profit in October-December 2016 rose to 17.86 billion yuan ($ 2.57 billion), or 6.94 yuan ($ 1) per share, compared with 12.5 billion yuan, or 4.9 yuan per share, for the same period of the previous financial year.

For the 12 months ended 31 December 2016, number of active users of retail platform Alibaba amounted to 443 million, which is 9% higher than a year earlier. Number of clients actively using Alibaba application for mobile devices in December reached 493 million, which presents an increase of 43 million compared to September.

Alibaba’s profit excluding one-off items amounted to 9.02 yuan ($ 1.3) per share. The company's revenue in the quarter jumped 55% - up to 53.25 billion yuan. Experts polled by Thomson Reuters, on average, forecasted adjusted Alibaba’s profit of 7.72 yuan per share on revenue of 50.1 billion yuan.

The third fiscal quarter, which accounts for the Day of Single People (or Bachelor's Day, which is celebrated on 11 November in China), has traditionally brought good money to Alibaba. Sales at Alibaba’s marketplaces that day were 32% higher in 2016 than a year earlier, reaching a record 120.7 billion yuan, according to a press release.

The company has improved its forecast of revenue growth for the current financial year ending in March 2017, up 53% from previously expected 48%.