MoneyGram and Ant Financial have terminated their $1.2 billion merger agreement after the deal failed to pass muster with the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS).
The rejection of the proposed merger deals a major blow to Ant Financial's ambitions to expand in the US and signals a hardening of the Trump Government's relationships with foreign superpowers.
The CFIUS, an arm of the US Treasury that runs the rule over the security implications of acquisitions by foreign companies, blocked the deal citing national security concerns.
Alex Holmes, chief executive officer of MoneyGram, cited a "change in the geopolitical environment" since it first announced the proposed transaction last year. "We are disappointed in the termination of this compelling transaction," he says.
Instead the two companies will explore reciprocal relationships in digital payments and remittances to offer their customers low-cost money transfer services into China, India and the Philippines, as well as in the US.
The nixing of the transaction will cost Ant Financial $30 million in termination costs, payable to MoneyGram.
The Chinese behemoth was forced to raise its initial offer for MoneyGram back in April after Euronet stepped into the fray. While Euronet continues to believe there is "compelling commercial logic" to a tie-up with MoneyGram, the firm says there can be no guarantees it will return with a counter bid.
"Significant developments have been disclosed by MoneyGram since Euornet’s offer and Euronet has not conducted any evaluation of the business in that time," the company says in a statement. "While we continue to view a transaction with MoneyGram as logical, there is no guarantee any offer will be made or any transaction will ultimately occur.