Vastavam web: Ant Financial, the affiliate of China’s Alibaba Group Holding Ltd that agreed to buy money transfer company MoneyGram International Inc for $1.2 billion, has resubmitted the deal for U.S. review, people familiar with the matter said.The deal is the latest and most high-profile transaction to be refiled this year with the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, a secretive government panel which reviews acquisitions by foreign entities for potential national security risks.Refiling resets the clock and gives up to another 75 days for the companies to complete the national security review and try to resolve potential issues.
“We are not commenting on the CFIUS process, but we are continuing to work with the various regulatory agencies and remain focused on closing the transaction by the end of the year,” Ant Financial said in a statement.A CFIUS refile does not necessarily mean that a deal will be rejected, although it does indicate increased government scrutiny. More deals have had to be refiled with CFIUS following the inauguration of U.S. President Donald Trump in January, as several key positions at several government departments remain vacant or have taken too long to be filled.
CFIUS had accepted notices of more than 120 transactions as of June 23, on pace to set a record, according to estimates by law firm Covington & Burling LLP. By comparison, CFIUS had received notices of just 97 transactions in all of 2013.Ant Financial finalized its deal to buy Dallas-based MoneyGram in April, after it sweetened its bid by over a third to beat a rival offer from U.S.-based Euronet Worldwide Inc.Some U.S. lawmakers, including Republican Senators Pat Roberts and Jerry Moran, have written to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who also serves as chairman of CFIUS, to express concern that Ant Financial’s acquisition of MoneyGram could pose national security threats, arguing that the information of U.S. citizens, including military personnel, could be compromised.
Ant Financial has said that MoneyGram’s data infrastructure will remain in the United States, with personal information encrypted or held in secure facilities on U.S. soil. It has also pointed to existing U.S. regulations that call for such protections.