Monitise confirms placing, acquisitions and delay to break even

Monitise confirms placing, acquisitions and delay to break even

UK mobile banking outfit Monitise has kicked off a £100 million share placement as the company provides news of two acquisitions and warns of further delays in its quest to hit break-even.

Monitise has contracted with Cannacord to raise the extra cash through an agreed 30 pence per share deal with Institutional investors for £34.2 million, with the remaining two-thirds raised through a partially underwritten conditional placing.

The firm says the funding round will enable it to take advantage of "significant opportunities represented by mobile banking, payments and commerce".

Further advancing its strategy, Monitise has agreed to buy out the remaining shares of loss-making mobile check-out apps firm Mobile Money Network Limited in a £15m all share deal valuing MMN at £30 million, and acquired mobile point of sale firm eMerit Solutions for up to £2.5 million.

MMN made a loss of £1.89 million for the 72 week period ended 30 June 2011. No figures are available for eMerit, but the company is joining an increasingly crowded market hawking Square-alike mobile Chip and PIN card readers.

On the international front, the Movida joint venture between Visa and Monitise expects to announce the launch during the coming weeks of new mobile payments services for HDFC Bank, the second-largest private bank in the country. These will allow users to pay bills, buy tickets, and top up airtime with any mobile phone. Additional banks and services are "expected to go live in the coming months".

The firm says it is also in "advanced discussions" with Bank of China (Hong Kong) regarding a strategic partnership to develop a range of new mobile payments services through its Monitise Asia Pacific joint venture.

Whether this 'jam tomorrow' strategy will appease investors is another matter, as the firm reneges on its earlier promise to reach cash break-even by 2013, stating simply: "Proceeds from the Placings are expected to drive substantially increased revenue expectations over the next 2-5 years and lead to only a slight delay in near-term profitability."

Shares in the vendor slipped by 8.2% to 30.25 pence from an overnight close of 33 pence.

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