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Ant Financial in talks to buy UK payments firm WorldFirst - Sky News

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Employee stands next to the logo of Ant Financial Services Group at its headquarters in Hangzhou

An employee stands next to the logo of Ant Financial Services Group, Alibaba's financial affiliate, at its headquarters in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, China January 24, 2018. REUTERS/Shu Zhang/File Photo

(Reuters) - Ant Financial Services Group, Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Limited's (BABA.N) fintech affiliate, is in advanced talks to buy British currency exchange startup WorldFirst in a deal that could be worth more than 500 million pounds, Sky News reported on Monday, citing sources.

Ant Financial, China's biggest online payments platform, has been in talks with WorldFirst for several months, according to the report.

"We don't comment on market rumours," an Ant Financial spokesperson said, when asked about the report.

WorldFirst did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Sky News report also said that it was unclear whether existing investors would retain a stake in WorldFirst, which was founded in 2004 in the basement of a house in South London.


(Reporting by Shashwat Awasthi in Bengaluru; Editing by James Emmanuel)