EXCLUSIVE MoneyGram reviews private equity bids-sources

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

The Dallas-based company embarked on 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 company, the sources added.

MoneyGram set a Jan. 24 deadline to receive binding acquisition offers, and expects to decide on whether it will sell itself in the coming days, according to the sources.

It's not clear how much MoneyGram, one of the world's largest money transfer companies with a market value of $850 million, will end up selling for.

The sources, who requested anonymity to discuss the confidential matter, cautioned that no deal is certain.

Spokespeople 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 market for payments and remittances.

MoneyGram, which according to its website has served 150 million people in the last five years, has been focusing on digital payments as an area of growth. In October, it announced a blockchain partnership that relies on financial technology firm Circle's USD Coin, one of the world's fastest-growing dollar digital currencies. Earlier this month, it unveiled another partnership with Japanese financial technology firm Digital Wallet Corp to facilitate international money transfers.

A $1.2 billion deal for China's Ant Financial to acquire MoneyGram was blocked by the United States in January 2018 on national security concerns. MoneyGram shares took a hit as a result, but have since recovered. They have surged 43% in the last 12 months, compared with a 2% rise in the Nasdaq Composite index.

Reporting by Greg Roumeliotis in New York Editing by Bernadette Baum

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