Ant Fires Back Against Euronet’s ‘Political Attacks’ Over MoneyGram

  • Grace Noto
  • April 12, 2017
  • 0

Ant is not impressed with Euronet’s recent moves in its tug-of-war over MoneyGram.

Ant released a statement this morning aimed at “setting the record straight on Euronet and its hostile proposal” for money transfer service MoneyGram. Ant Financial first announced of its intent to acquire MoneyGram in January.

The statement was signed off by Doug Feagin, SVP of international relations for Ant Financial—who also signed the company’s open letter to MoneyGram released last week—and reads:

In the four weeks since launching a hostile bid to break up Ant Financial’s agreed-upon merger with MoneyGram (NASDAQ: MGI), Euronet has conducted broad-based political attacks in Washington against Ant Financial Services Group (“Ant Financial”) and the integrity of MoneyGram’s business and data security practices in an attempt to stop a compelling transaction involving a core competitor.

Euronet has sought to create phantom national security arguments and encouraged political interference in a commercial transaction.

Ant Financial’s acquisition of MoneyGram would indeed require the company to go through certain regulatory processes that are in place for national security measures, as noted in previous statements by Euronet. These security processes and checks, however, are the norm for international players seeking these types of corporate transactions in the U.S., a source familiar with the matter told Bank Innovation. But sounding alarm bells over this normal procedure, the source added,  is something of a hostile move. It may make the process more cumbersome in the future, especially as parties in Washington call for increased scrutiny on the presence of international companies in the country.

The e-payments company has also previously noted its ability to skip this part of the process due to it being a U.S.-based company—a technical claim at best, according to Ant’s statement, which notes that about 85% of Euronet’s assets are kept outside of the U.S., and that the company is still “heavily concentrated” in Eastern Europe.

Ant also noted that MoneyGram would “continue to pay state and federal U.S. taxes” following the acquisition, adding that Euronet “paid zero U.S. tax” for the last year. The company ended today’s statement by repeating its assertion that MoneyGram would continue to operate its data systems in the U.S. without interference, and that any U.S. consumer data would remain safely out of Ant’s hands after the partnership.

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