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Moody's affirms MoneyGram's corporate family rating; outlook still negative

Moody's affirmed MoneyGram International Inc.'s corporate family rating of B3 and upgraded its speculative grade liquidity rating to SGL-3 from SGL-4.

The outlook is still negative.

Moody's said the company's corporate family rating reflects its "elevated business risk profile," with continuing revenue pressures in part due to efforts to strengthen its compliance framework resulting from an agreement with the Department of Justice and an intense competitive environment in its sector. While the rating agency said MoneyGram has improved its compliance risk profile, it also resulted in reduced volumes in certain corridors.

MoneyGram in November 2018 once again extended its deferred prosecution agreement with the DOJ for 30 months and also modified its consent order with the Federal Trade Commission. The company also agreed to forfeit $125 million to compensate victims of consumer fraud. MoneyGram in February 2012 disclosed that authorities were considering imposing criminal penalties related to the investigation of its U.S. and Canadian agents, and certain transactions involving such agents, fraud complaint data and its consumer anti-fraud program from 2004 to 2009.

Moody's forecasts the company's adjusted leverage will increase to about 5.4x by the end of 2019 due to expected declines in revenue and margins. The rating agency said the negative outlook is due to further top line decline and break-even free cash flow pro forma for the refinancing.