Euronet Squares Off With Ant For Purchase of MoneyGram

  • Grace Noto
  • March 14, 2017
  • 0

Let the battle begin.

E-payments provider Euronet Worldwide announced an offer to buy MoneyGram, a U.S.-based money transfer service, for $15.20 per share in cash–an offer higher than the original purchase price put forward by Ant Financial back in January.

“Our proposal provides approximately $130 million of additional value over the offer from Ant Financial, representing a premium of approximately 15% over the Ant offer,” Euronet Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Michael Brown said during a conference call this morning. “Frankly, we don’t believe that Ant Financial will ever be in a position to offer a proposal that matches our own.”

Bold words to throw at the world’s second-largest unicorn–it’s still worth $60 billion–whose parent, Alibaba, generated $17.5 billion in revenue for 2016, compared to Euronet’s $2 billion. Euronet has a market capitalization of about $4.4 billion.

However, Brown pointed to the fact that Euronet does have certain advantages Ant lacks when it comes to acquiring the tiny (compared to the companies bidding for its shares) MoneyGram.

Mainly, Brown emphasized the impact of regulation: the fact that it’s also a U.S.-based company means that the regulatory process for the acquisition would be much simpler and shorter than the one Ant would have to go through.

Euronet already possesses money transfer licenses in all of the zones MoneyGram operates in: the company has three main business segments, with the most relevant one being its money transfer division (the other two are its EFT business and its epay business). Thus, Euronet won’t have to get the approvals as a foreign company that Ant will need before the transaction is approved.

“In summary, we think it is overwhelmingly clear that our proposal is straightforward. Conversely, the Ant Financial transaction is fraught with uncertainty and challenges at every turn,” Brown said on the call.

Euronet’s proposal is backed with committed financing by Wells Fargo, while Ant’s offer is backed by Citigroup, and, according to Brown, Euronet expects that the transaction can close by yearend — that is, if accepted by MoneyGram in lieu of Ant’s offer.

Ant Financial is not commenting on Euronet’s offer at the this time.

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