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The Wall Street Journal: Alibaba unit battles for MoneyGram, upping offer to around $1.2 billion

Ant Financial Services Group has raised its bid for U.S. money-transfer company MoneyGram International Inc. to around $1.2 billion — topping a rival offer and making China’s biggest online-payments firm once more the leading contender in an increasingly politicized takeover battle.

Ant Financial, which is controlled by Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. BABA, -0.38% , has been looking to expand overseas and initially signed a deal to buy MoneyGram MGI, -0.24% in January for $880 million.

But it was sideswiped in March by an unsolicited competing offer of around $955 million from payments processor Euronet Worldwide Inc.

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