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China’s Ant Financial agrees to buy WorldFirst in $700m deal

Acquisition marks group’s biggest push yet into western markets

Ant Financial has agreed to buy British payments group WorldFirst in a deal said to be worth around $700m, in the biggest push yet by Jack Ma’s Chinese financial services giant into western markets. The acquisition — which is Ant Financial’s first major deal in the UK — comes after a thwarted attempt last year to take over MoneyGram International, a US-based cross border payments group, which was blocked on security concerns by Washington. Last month, WorldFirst closed its US arm to avoid similar problems with this deal.

Source: Financial Times. Read full article here

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