Donald Trump and Jack Ma
Donald Trump and
Jack Ma

Sard Verbinnen & Co. and Joele Frank, Wilkinson Brimmer Katcher work the fallout from the collapse of China-based Ant Financial Services Group’s $1.2B bid for MoneyGram, money transfer operation.

The partners pulled the plug on the deal yesterday, citing inability to get the blessing of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the US.

That rejection comes as tensions rise between China and the US, and the Trump Administration’s growing concern about the theft of American intellectual property.

In announcing the deal’s death, MoneyGram CEO Alex Holmes noted the “geopolitical environment has changed considerably” since the merger was announced Jan. 26, 2017.

The potential for China’s investment in the US appeared to be bright following the US election. Jack Ma, the Chinese Internet baron who controls Ant Financial, appeared with president-elect Trump at a Trump Tower photo-op and promised to create one million jobs in the US.

SV&C’s Paul Kranhold, Reze Wong and Andrew Duberstein represent Ant Financial in the US, while Rick Carew and Yin Ai handle China.

JFWBK’s Michael Freitag, Joseph Sala and Viveca Tress work the MoneyGram account.