Alibaba Group's Ant Financial to acquire UK’s WorldFirst

Date : 15 February 2019

Ant Financial, an Alibaba subsidiary and the operator of AliPay, is acquiring a UK based money transfer company WorldFirst for more than £500m (US$640m).

Global expansion

This deal marks Ant's biggest Western expansion, boosting its global presence significantly. It would help Ant and AliPay to increase its  customer base globally to enhance cross-border money transfer capabilities of Alipay. According to Ant, the two companies are 'highly complementary'. Alipay has also been made available in Walgreens in the US earlier this month.

Ant Financial and WorldFirst

Ant, created by Alibaba Group in 2014 has a valuation of $150 billion, with more than 1bn active users globally.

WorldFirst, founded in 2004, specialises in helping ecommerce customers collect funds from sites such as Amazon.com and eBay as well as process payments in various currencies. The company said it would continue to be a U.K.-based business with global operations, and will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Ant. 

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