MoneyGram’s stockholders have voted to approve a deal to be purchased by China’s Ant Financial for $1.2 billion.

The deal was approved by 97% of shareholders who voted in a special election, MoneyGram said Tuesday. The results put the deal on track to close in the second half of 2017 if it’s approved by the U.S. Committee on Foreign Investment.

Kansas-based Euronet Worldwide made a rival offer for MoneyGram in March, touting the greater certainty of regulators approving a U.S.-based company's purchase of the money-transfer firm, which operates more than 350,000 locations in 200 countries.

MoneyGram store
Bloomberg News

Ant Financial, which is looking to expand its global reach, in April upped its original offer from late January of $880 million to top Euronet’s bid.

“We appreciate the strong support from our stockholders in connection with the compelling transaction with Ant Financial,” Alex Holmes, MoneyGram’s CEO, said in a May 16 press release.

MoneyGram said it expects the transaction with Ant Financial will accelerate and expand its suite of global hybrid solutions while maintaining strong security and privacy protections for customers.

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