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US government blocks MoneyGram sale to Chinese

The US government has blocked the sale of Texas-based international money transfer company MoneyGram to Chinese online retailer Alibaba, both corporations have announced.

The MoneyGram deal is the latest in a series of Chinese acquisitions of American companies that have failed to clear US financial authorities.

The $1.2 billion deal’s failure represents a blow for Jack Ma, the executive chairman of Chinese internet conglomerate Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (BABA.N), who owns Ant Financial.

MoneyGram and Alibaba decided to terminate their deal after the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) rejected their proposals to mitigate concerns over the safety of data that can be used to identify US citizens, according to sources familiar with the confidential discussions.

“Despite our best efforts to work cooperatively with the US government, it has now become clear that CFIUS will not approve this merger,” MoneyGram Chief Executive Alex Holmes said in a statement.

MoneyGram, which offers money transfer services to more than 200 countries and territories worldwide, has offices in 36 countries, employing nearly 4,000 workers. The company’s diverse products and services are available at more than 350,000 physical locations worldwide and through online and mobile channels.

Femi Awoniyi

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