MoneyGram To Go Private in $1.8 Billion Deal

Whereas a stock market correction has affected many top companies, MoneyGram hasn’t been one of them. Is the payment company publicly traded?

Ade Hennis - Author

Feb. 16 2022, Published 4:15 a.m. ET

MoneyGram graphic of smartphones displaying logos
Source: MoneyGram Twotter

Whereas the current stock market correction has affected many top companies, MoneyGram hasn’t been one of them. Is the payment platform publicly traded?

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It has been, but won't be for long. Since Nov. 2021, MoneyGram stock (MGI) has risen nearly 75 percent, but news has broken that the payment platform is going private through a merger with equity company Madison Dearborn Partners. After the $1.8 billion deal was announced, the company’s stock spiked. On Feb. 15 alone, MGI stock rose by about 20 percent.

Why is MoneyGram going private?

A major benefit of the merger will be that it allows Madison Dearborn to refinance MoneyGram's $799 million debt. Like other traditional money transfer platforms, MoneyGram has struggled to adapt to digital payment technology. The payment platform has dealt with failed acquisition deals throughout the years.

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Source: MoneyGram Twitter

Western Union, arguably MoneyGram’s biggest competitor, considered buying MoneyGram back in 2020, but a deal was never completed. Both companies had to close physical locations around the world due to labor shortages and consumers switching to digital payments. Commercial banks have suffered the same losses, being forced to make their clients use virtual customer service.

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MoneyGram now focused on cryptocurrency

By going private, MoneyGram hopes to focus on digital payments, including mobile wallets, virtual cards, and cryptocurrency. The money transfer company had a partnership with Ripple in 2018, though that fell through as Ripple battled the SEC in court.

In May 2021, MoneyGram partnered with crypto exchange and ATM operator Coinme to allow U.S. residents to withdraw their crypto holdings in cash. Later that year, users could buy and sell Bitcoin at U.S. MoneyGram locations, and in Jan. 2022, the platform strengthened its Coinme partnership by making a minority investment in the exchange. MoneyGram now wants to expand its Bitcoin services internationally, which could help countries that have become reliant on cryptocurrency, such as Afghanistan.

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In Oct. 2021, MoneyGram partnered with the Stellar Development Foundation to integrate Stellar’s blockchain. The platform now allows users to convert top stablecoin USDC into cash (or vice versa) nearly instantly with no bank account.

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What does this mean for MoneyGram shareholders?

MoneyGram will pay out $11 per share in cash to MGI stockholders, and the deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2022. MGI stock currently sits around $10.70, so it may be too late for new investors to purchase shares to benefit from the payout.


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