Monitise abandons plans for sell off after failing to attract the right offer

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Alastair Lukies, founder of Monitise, is stepping down as co-chief executive, taking the role of strategic advisor. Elizabeth Buse, the former Visa executive drafted in to help lead the business last June, will take sole charge.

News of the shake-up came as Monitise said it has called off efforts to sell or merge the business after attracting only complex or lowball bids.

Instead management will continue “transforming and streamlining” the company.

Monitise founder Lukies is one of the UK’s most well-known technology entrepreneurs and the business, which powers banking apps, was once seen as a huge British success story.

Backers include MasterCard, Visa, Santander and Spanish telecom giant Telefonica.


But the company, founded in 2003, has struggled in recent years as competitors emerged, banks developed in-house solutions and the company tried to shift to a subscription model.

Monitise suffered through two profit warnings and an 80% in its share price over the last year.

In a statement Lukies said the business would “thrive” under Buse’s sole leadership. Her appointment last year was seen at the time as an effort by investors to help steer the business back on course. But sources close to the company say having two chief executives proved problematic.

Chairman Peter Ayliffe said: “On behalf of the Board, I would like to thank Alastair Lukies as the founder of, and inspiration behind, Monitise. His vision, tireless hard work and energy have created a business that has delivered leadership in its space and given us the base from which we can build a long-term successful business.

“The Board is very pleased that Alastair will continue to work with us in his new role as Founder and Strategic Adviser.”

Buse said: “Monitise is a great business with a unique offering. 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 profitable in 2016 and continues to be well positioned to deliver against its longer term goals.”

Buse is set to restructure and trim the business in an effort to get the perennially loss-making firm to break-even by the end of the year.

Monitise fell 15% to 15.12p.

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March 25, 2015 |
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