Monitise has acquired Turkish mobile money outfit Pozitron Yazilim in an all share deal which could be worth up to £60 million.
Monitise is paying an initial £24 million through the issuance of nearly 36 million new shares and could fork over up to another £36 million in cash or shares over the next three years if performance-related targets are met.
Privately-owned Pozitron Yazilim provides mobile banking, payments and commerce technology to firms, primarily in Turkey and the Middle East.
The firm counts Turkey's largest bank, Türkiye İ Bankası, as well BKM, the country's national payments switch, as partners. Customers include Turkish Airlines, eBay, ING, Arab National Bank, and Hepsiburada.com, Turkey's equivalent to Amazon.
Founded in 2000 by Fatih İbecer as a software development firm, Pozitron Yazilim later moved into mobile money and now employs 130 people, is debt free and "profitable".
The Pozitron business will now report into Peter Radcliffe, president, international, Monitise.
Says Radcliffe: "Fatih and his team has positioned Pozitron as a leader in its field, delivering best-in-class, easy-to-use mobile engineering and user experience and design capabilities for clients in Turkey, the Middle East and beyond."
The move to secure a foothold in the Middle East marks the latest effort from London-based Monitise to push into markets around the world. Last October it agreed to buy partner First Eastern out of their 50:50 Asia Pacific joint venture while it also has an Indian partnership with Visa and a strong presence in the US through the £109 million 2012 acquisition of Clairmail.
Shares in the company were up 1.38 pence, or 2.07%, to 67.88 pence in mid-morning trading.