Lukies out as Monitise pulls back from sell off
25 March 2015 | 6020 views | 2
Monitise founder and co-CEO Alastair Lukies is to step down from the board of the UK mobile banking group, as the business strives to go it alone as an independent company following a failed search for a third-party suitor.
Loss-making Monitise announced that it was putting itself in the shop window in January as the business reported widening losses and a drop in revenue.
Last month, the company reported that it had "positive discussions" with a number of interested parties, but in the latest twist in the saga the board has concluded that "the best way of maximising long-term value for all stakeholders is to continue transforming and streamlining the business as an independent company".
Shares in the vendor slipped 18% in early morning trading as the market digested the announcement, which sees Elizabeth Buse become sole CEO as Alastair Lukies is demoted from the board to a new role as 'founder and strategic adviser'.
Stephen Shurrock, CEO of consumer at Telefónica is appointed non-executive director representing strategic shareholders Telefónica and Santander.
Monitise reported an Ebidta loss of £30.8 million for the six months to 31 December, from £10.2 million in the comparable period last year. Revenue also fell 8.8% to £42.4 million as the company adjusts to a new business model based on recurring revenues.
Despite the red ink, Monitise has reiterated its target of being Ebitda profitable in FY 2016.
Monitise chairman Peter Ayliffe says: "I am extremely confident that the business is at a point in its development where the prospects for delivering long-term value are excellent."
He says that none of the indicative and non-binding proposals the company received fully recognised the longer-term value of the business. "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."
The decision to go it alone is supported by Santander, which invested £33 million in November to acquire a five percent stake in Monitise.
Senior EVP and corporate director of innovation at Banco Santander, José María Fuster, says: “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.”