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Shares of MoneyGram jump on merger deal with Alibaba unit

A shop worker places a sign for 'MoneyGram' outside his store on Moore Street in Dublin, Ireland.
Paul Thomas | Bloomberg | Getty Images

MoneyGram shares jumped Thursday after the U.S.-based money transfer company and Alibaba's Ant Financial Services announced a merger in a deal valued at $880 million.

Shareholders of the Dallas-based company are being offered $13.25 per share in cash, according to a release from Ant Financial, Alibaba's online payments and financial services arm. Ant Financial will assume or refinance MoneyGram's outstanding debt.

"Ant Financial is an ideal partner for MoneyGram," MoneyGram's CEO Alex Holmes said in a statement.

Shares of MoneyGram climbed more than 8 percent Thursday to close at $12.92 a share.

By combining with Ant Financial, MoneyGram will be able to access 630 million more users worldwide, the release said.

"The combination of Ant Financial and MoneyGram will provide greater access, security and simplicity for people around the world to remit funds, especially in major economies such as the United States, China, India, Mexico and the Philippines," Eric Jing, chief executive officer at Ant Financial, said in the release.

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