Sat | Jan 20, 2018

Too early to assess MoneyGram takeover, say local agents

Published:Thursday | April 13, 2017 | 12:00 AMMcPherse Thompson

Jamaica's principal agents for MoneyGram International have indicated that it is too early to comment on the likely local impact of the proposed acquisition of the money-transfer outfit, which now has two rival bidders vying to take it over.

Ant International, which is partly owned by the Chinese government, was the first to go after the company, but more recently another firm has joined the fray with a bigger bid.

Acting general manager for JN Money Services, Horace Hines, said he would not want to comment at this time, given his understanding that the bidding process was still ongoing. JN Money Services operates MoneyGram outlets out of 16 locations islandwide and eight points in the Cayman Islands.

Manager at Alliance Investment Management, Sophia Williams, said it was her understanding that the acquisition may not be finalised until later this year and hence, it was too early to assess the likely impact, if any, on the local operations. Alliance operates MoneyGram out of 58 outlets nationwide.

Lasco Financial Services, another agent for MoneyGram, declined to comment.

Reports last month out of the United States indicated that Euronet, which operates services like Epay, specialising in point-of-sale and payment services, had offered a higher price of US$15.20 per share for Nasdaq-listed MoneyGram. Ant Financial proposed US$13.25 per share.

News outlets in the United States also reported that the proposed acquisition may be reviewed under the Exon-Florio Amendment, a law that grants the US president authorisation to block foreign acquisitions that threaten national security.

Under the law, the president has delegated his review ability to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, a Treasury Department agency that reviews foreign purchases of US companies.