EXCLUSIVE MoneyGram reviews sources of private equity deals

A Moneygram logo is seen outside a bank in Vienna, Austria June 28, 2016. REUTERS/Heinz-Peter Bader/File Photo

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Jan 25 (Reuters) – Private equity firms Madison Dearborn Partners LLC, Siris Capital Group LLC and Advent International Corp have made competing bids to acquire MoneyGram International Inc (MGI.O), according to people familiar with the matter.

The Dallas-based company began a review of its options after Madison Dearborn offered $10.50 per share in cash to acquire it, the sources said. Advent had also expressed interest last year in taking over the business, the sources added.

MoneyGram has set January 24 as the deadline to receive binding takeover offers and expects to decide whether it will sell in the coming days, the sources say.

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It’s unclear how much MoneyGram, one of the largest money transfer companies in the world with a market value of $850 million, will end up selling for.

The sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the confidential matter, warned that no deal is certain.

Spokespersons for MoneyGram, Madison Dearborn, Siris and Advent did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

MoneyGram has become an acquisition target as intense competition from digital rivals such as Remitly Global Inc (RELY.O) and Revolut has weighed on its ability to capitalize on the growing payments and remittances market.

MoneyGram, which according to its website has served 150 million people over the past five years, has focused on digital payments as a growth area. In October, it announced a blockchain partnership that leverages fintech company Circle’s USD Coin, one of the world’s fastest growing dollar digital currencies. Earlier this month, it unveiled another partnership with Japanese fintech company Digital Wallet Corp to facilitate international money transfers.

A $1.2 billion deal for Chinese firm Ant Financial to acquire MoneyGram was blocked by the United States in January 2018 on national security grounds. MoneyGram shares took a hit, but have since rallied. They have jumped 43% in the past 12 months, against a 2% rise in the Nasdaq Composite index.

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Reporting by Greg Roumeliotis in New York Editing by Bernadette Baum

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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