Young Gun Alastair Lukies CBE exits Monitise as share price falls

Elizabeth Buse will remain as sole CEO with mobile payments firm no longer part of the “$1bn start-up club”

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2007 Growing Business Young Gun Alastair Lukies CBE has stepped down as chief executive officer of Monitise as it is announced that the AIM-listed mobile payments firm has taken itself off the market, which saw shares fall 17%.

Following a third revenue warning in January, Monitise had said it was open to takeover bids, but has rejected the expressions of interest from a number of parties as the figures being discussed were not attractive enough.

Instead of an expected 25% rise in revenues to £119m in 2015, the company projected that turnover would remain flat at £90-£100m with losses of £40-£50m. This followed key partner Visa selling down its 15% stake in the company in December.

The exit of Lukies will see Elizabeth Buse remain as sole CEO with Telefonica’s digital service chief, Stephen Shurrock, joining as non-executive director.

Lukies founded Monitise in 2003 as a technology platform which allows users to manage bank accounts and money transfers on a mobile device. It has grown to become one of the largest mobile money specialists in the world with partnerships with Santander as well as Visa, Mastercard and IBM.

Up until very recently it was one of only five tech companies in the UK to be valued at $1bn – the “$1bn start-up club” – alongside Shazam, Zoopla, Wonga and Powa Technologies but its market value is now listed at £322.4m ($479.6m) according to the London Stock Exchange.

The news followed the recent announcement from Monitise of “two major multi-year contract wins with multi-million dollar aggregate value” and this month Santander launched the first UK ISA moblie app, which was designed and developed by Monitise Create.

Monitise had also been in an acquisitive mood, utilising the AIM market to acquire fast-growth start-ups. In June last year, the mobile banking firm announced a £55m acquisition of the holding company behind and Last Second Tickets, MarkCo Media, and in August Lukies announced he would be acting as non-executive chairman of Innovate Finance.

In 2013, the business also acquired Grapple in a deal that could ultimately value the mobile app developer at £39m.

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