Anbang abandons deal in the U.S., but Ant Financial pushes ahead

Business & Technology

Top business and technology news for April 17, 2017. Part of the daily SupChina news roundup "‘Swords drawn’ over North Korea."

FILE PHOTO: The headquarters building of Anbang Insurance Group are pictured in Beijing, China, August 25, 2016. REUTERS/Jason Lee/File Photo

Anbang Insurance Group, one of the highest-profile Chinese companies proposing acquisition deals in the U.S., will abandon its $1.6 billion offer for U.S. annuities and life insurer Fidelity & Guaranty Life, sources told Reuters on April 16. Though Anbang had received clearance for the deal from the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), it “could not get past some U.S. state regulators,” the sources said. This marks the second large deal that Anbang has forgone in the United States in a little over a year, after its deal to buy Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. for $14 billion fell through 13 months ago. Just last month, discussions were also called off between Anbang and the family of Jared Kushner, Donald Trump’s son-in-law, over a potential $4 billion real estate deal in New York.

Meanwhile, Ant Financial, an affiliate of ecommerce giant Alibaba, pushed ahead with a deal in the U.S. as it raised the stakes to acquire wire transfer service MoneyGram by more than a third to $1.2 billion. MoneyGram won’t officially vote on the deal for another month, and approval by CFIUS is always a challenge for Chinese firms, though analysts indicate that the new deal is promising and that Ant Financial has likely beat out its Kansas-based rival bidder, Euronet Worldwide, Inc.