MoneyGram's Stock Soars After Deal To Be Bought By Alibaba's Ant Financial For $880 Million

By Tomi Kilgore Markets MarketWatch Pulse

Shares of MoneyGram International Inc. soared 10% in premarket trade Thursday, after the provider of money transfer services agreed to be acquired by Ant Financial Services Group, which is an affiliate of China-based Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. for $880 million. Under terms of the deal, Ant Financial will pay $13.25 for each MoneyGram share outstanding, which is 14% above Wednesday's closing price of $11.88. The deal connects MoneyGram's network of 2.4 billion bank and mobile accounts with Ant Financial's users. "The combination of Ant Financial and MoneyGram will provide greater access, security and simplicity for people around the world to remit funds, especially in major economies such as the United States, China, India, Mexico and the Philippines," said Ant Financial Chief Executive Eric Jing. MoneyGram's stock has more than doubled over the past 12 months, while Alibaba shares have run up 49% and the S&P 500 has climbed 21%.

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