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Report: Ant Group Plans $200 Million Purchase of MultiSafepay

China’s Ant Group is reportedly preparing to purchase Dutch payments firm MultiSafepay.

The deal, worth about $200 million, comes as Ant Group — which owns Alipay — is making an ongoing expansion into the Western payments sector, Reuters reported Friday (Jan. 5), citing sources familiar with the matter.

Reuters noted that Ant Group purchased the Singapore-based payments firm 2C2P in 2022, and British payments group WorldFirst in 2019.

PYMNTS has contacted Ant Group and MultiSafepay for comment but has not yet gotten a reply.

Founded in 1999, MultiSafepay provides payment acquiring and processing services, and supports more than 30 local and international payment methods and is an acquirer and processor for all major cards, according to the company website.

The news comes just after a year that was one of the worst for mergers and acquisitions (M&A) in several years with total volumes falling 18% in 2023 year to about $3 trillion. That was lowest figure since 2013, when deal volumes came to $2.8 trillion.

“We were surprised by how difficult it was to bring deals forward in 2023. I think there will be an M&A rebound, but how much of it actually appears in 2024 and how much of it is a setup to 2025 remains to be seen,” Paul J. Taubman, founder and CEO of investment bank PJT Partners, told Reuters last month.

But some dealmakers have shown a sense of optimism after a difficult year.

“Clients are more actively calling, and people are picking up pencils on processes that are ready to kick off,” Michele Cousins, head of leveraged capital markets for the Americas at UBS, said at a recent press briefing. “With the recent strength in markets and reduced volatility, people are feeling more comfortable.”

Last year Alipay debuted an “International Version” of its app for overseas travelers to China, designed to fulfill international travelers’ mobile payment needs in China while integrating common travel services such as hotel and airfare booking and ride hailing.

Ant Group also last year began letting overseas users of the platform link Visa, MasterCard, Diners Club and Discover cards to their mobile wallets. 

More recently, Alipay teamed with payment service provider Citcon to allow for international e-wallet payments for U.S. retail merchants.

“This partnership marks a significant step forward in expanding Citcon and Alipay+ services in the U.S. market, offering international visitors a convenient and secure way to make payments with their home e-wallets,” the companies said in a news release last month.