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March 25, 2015

Monitise rules out sell-off as founder quits board

The mobile payments company will continue as "independent and self-sustaining business".

By Alexander Sword

A strategic review by Monitise has ruled out the possibility of a sell-off.

Following an announcement on 22 January that it was considering the possibility of being bought by another firm, the mobile payments company declared that continuing as an independent company was the best option for shareholders. Accordingly, the Formal Sale Process has now ceased.

It was also announced that founder and co-CEO Alastair Lukies would be stepping down from the board, with Elizabeth Buse becoming the sole CEO. Lukies will now report to Buse in an advisory role.

A sale had been considered as part of a "review of all strategic options", according to the firm, following share price weakness and shareholder developments.

However, while the company had received expressions of interest from various parties, the board believed the proposals did not recognise Monitise’s long-term value. Additionally, the company had been uncertain of the ultimate deliverability of the proposals.

Monitise left its FY 2015 guidance unchanged, reiterating its target of being EBITDA profitable in 2016. It expects over 30 percent EBITDA margins by the end of 2018, "underpinned by high operational leverage in the business."

Monitise CEO Elizabeth Buse said: "Monitise is a great business with a unique offering."

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She added: "My priorities are centred on delivering value to all our stakeholders through the development and deployment of excellent products and services and to ensure that Monitise remains on track to become EBITDA profitable in FY 2016 and continues to be well positioned to deliver against its longer term goals."

Alastair Lukies, now titled Founder and Strategic Advisor, said: "Monitise is a unique business that set out a decade ago to be the leading, trusted enabler of mobile money services to some of the world’s leading financial institutions. In achieving that goal, it has also positioned itself perfectly for the rising tide of digital commerce.

"As an agnostic, independent and self-sustaining business, led by an incredible leader in Elizabeth, employing some very talented people with a technology platform that is bank grade, scalable and steeped in innovation, Monitise is set to thrive."

Monitise’s share price fell in response to the news.

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