MoneyGram and Ant Financial Call Off Merger, Citing Regulatory Concerns

MoneyGram and Ant Financial of China called off their planned merger on Tuesday after failing to get regulatory approval in the United States.

It is the latest deal to fall apart over concerns about Chinese purchases of American businesses. And the decision, by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, or Cfius, could spell trouble for other Chinese companies considering major acquisitions.

The deal between MoneyGram and Ant Financial was seen as a test of the Trump administration’s political and regulatory approach with China. Bipartisan lawmakers have introduced legislation calling for greater scrutiny of Chinese investments in the United States. And President Trump earlier blocked a Chinese backed-investor from buying the American chip maker, Lattice Semiconductor.

The two companies, MoneyGram and Ant Financial, said that it was clear that Cfius would not approve the deal, despite their efforts to quell concerns. “The geopolitical environment has changed considerably since we first announced the proposed transaction with Ant Financial nearly a year ago,” said the chief executive of MoneyGram, Alex Holmes.