Europe

Monitise’s Proposed Sale Is Off (And Their co-CEO And Founder Is Stepping Down)

It looks like Monitise will not be going up for sale after all – though it will be getting along without its founder and co-CEO Alastair Lukies. His departure comes as the U.K.-based firm attempts to carry on after being unable to find an appropriate third-party buyer for itself.

In January, the mobile banking firm announced that it was looking for a buyer in the face of increasing losses and a drop in revenue.

While early reports were of “positive discussions” with various interested parties, in the end it seems the board didn’t find any prospect more desirable than staying single.

The board concluded that “the best way of maximizing long-term value for all stakeholders is to continue transforming and streamlining the business as an independent company,” reports Finextra.

Going forward, co-CEO Elizabeth Buse will be the sole CEO, while her former counterpart will be transferred to a new role as “founder and strategic advisor.” Stock in the company was down 18 percent after the announcement.

Monitise reported an Ebitda loss of $45.8 million in the six months running up to the end of December 2014. That is a big uptick from the $15.1 million during the same period the year before. Revenue also fell – down 8.8 percent to about $63 million as the company adjusted to a new business model based on recurring revenues. And while that certainly reads like a lot of red ink, the firm has reiterated its goal of being Ebitda profitable in FY 2016. “I am extremely confident that the business is at a point in its development where the prospects for delivering long-term value are excellent,” noted Monitise chairman Peter Ayliffe on the direction change. “The feedback from third parties re-affirms that we have a uniquely strong technology platform, a talented and highly respected management team, and a deep well of support among staff, partners and clients for what we are seeking to achieve.”

Ayliffe further noted that the offers the company had received when it was contemplating a sale simply did not fully recognize the longer-term value of the business.

Santander, a big investor in Monitise, supports the firm’s decision to stay independent.

“Santander believes that Monitise is uniquely well-positioned as an independent player in the fast-growing digital money space. We have already through our partnership with Monitise developed some market-leading propositions for our customers and intend to continue doing so through what we expect to be a long and mutually beneficial collaboration,” said Senior EVP and corporate director of innovation at Banco Santander, José María Fuster.

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