The latest news on the battle between Ant Financial and Euronet to acquire MoneyGram could mean that the former might raise its bid. This will happen only if MoneyGram formally declares that Euronet’s challenger bid is superior, which Bloomberg News last month noted is likely.
This means that an all-out bidding war could be about to start, with the victor walking away with one of the largest international money transfer networks in the world.
The two have been squaring off since last month when Euronet threw in a $940 million challenger bid to Ant Financial’s prior $880 million offer for the online money transfer and bill pay company.
For Ant Financial, the acquisition of MoneyGram could be a major move as part of its international expansion plans as it gears up for an initial public offering. MoneyGram would provide the company with a global remittance network. Ant Financial is valued at $60 billion.
This past Sunday, Euronet’s CEO and Co-Founder Mike Brown told The Financial Times in an interview that the sale of MoneyGram to the rival bidder would be a risk to U.S. national security, arguing that the proximity of many of MoneyGram’s vendors to American military bases would be problematic.
“The next war is about data,” Brown told FT. “When we are talking about the national security risk, just take a look at the hacking attempts that the Chinese government has made and succeeded [against] U.S. government employees.”
On Tuesday, MoneyGram reportedly rejected Euronet’s claims, calling them untrue.
This isn’t the first time this national security issue has been raised. When Ant Financial first announced its plans to acquire MoneyGram back in January, concerns were raised around the exposure of millions of Americans’ personal data, including government employees and military.
The U.S. expressed fears that this business deal would make the country more prone to foreign espionage and cyberattacks. A number of U.S. officials called for a more rigorous review process of the deal.