Ant Financial is pursuing the largest ever acquisition of a UK-based fintech concern by a Chinese financial company.
Ant Financial is currently in “advanced talks” to acquire London-based fintech company World First for $700 million according to sources speaking to Sky News, who expect the deal to be completed within a matter of weeks.
World First is one of the world’s fastest growing fintech companies, offering foreign exchange and hedging services to both businesses and individuals.
The company has transferred over $76 billion for customers since it was first established in a London basement in 2004 by co-founders Jonathan Quin and Nick Robinson.
As part of efforts to expand abroad World First has applied for a license to become one of the first foreign firms permitted to operate in the Chinese fintech sector.
Alibaba-affiliate Ant Financial is the world’s largest fintech concern as well as the world’s most highly valued privately held company, with a valuation of around $150 billion in the wake of a June funding round that raised nearly $14 billion.
The company rose to prominence via the Alipay payments platform first developed by Alibaba, which holds a stake of approximately 33% in Ant Financial.