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UPDATE 1-Monitise explores strategic review, warns on full-year results
January 22, 2015 / 9:32 AM / 3 years ago

UPDATE 1-Monitise explores strategic review, warns on full-year results

(Adds details, analyst comment, share movement)

By Richa Naidu

Jan 22 (Reuters) - Monitise Plc, a British mobile banking technology company, said it was reviewing its strategic options and warned that full-year revenue would be below its expectations, blaming its transition to a subscription-based business model.

Monitise is considering all options including a potential sale and stock market listings under the review, which will be conducted by financial adviser Moelis & Co UK LLP.

Shares in Monitise fell as much as 22.4 percent minutes after opening to their lowest since March 2010. The stock was the second-biggest loser on the London Stock Exchange.

"The market is telling us that investors very much doubt that Monitise will find a proper buyer," said Exane BNP Paribas analyst Alexandre Faure.

"IBM is going to be probably the most speculated buyer," Faure added, saying other potential bidders included MasterCard Inc and other banking software vendors eyeing Monitise's high profile relationships, if not their technology.

The company provides payment solutions to 350 financial institutions, including Royal Bank of Scotland, MasterCard and Santander.

Monitise also said on Thursday that it expected a full-year EBITDA loss of between $60 million and $76 million, wider than market estimates.

Prior to the announcement, the company's 2015 EBITDA loss was forecast at 33.24 million pounds ($50.4 million), according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

However, the company said it still expected an EBITDA profit in 2016, helped by cost savings from the re-shaping of the business.

Monitise, which warned on revenue twice last year citing the same changes to its business model, has shed over 70 percent of its market value since the start of 2014.

The company was also hit hard in September when its biggest customer, Visa Inc, revealed plans to divest its stake in Monitise and pursue its own mobile payment systems.

Monitise said it now expected full-year revenue to be between $136 million and $151 million, compared with its previous forecast of an "at least 25 percent growth" on its revenue of $143.7 million in the year ended June 30, 2014.

The company's AIM-listed shares recovered some of their early losses and were down 10 percent at 0923 GMT. ($1 = 0.6601 pounds) (Editing by Gopakumar Warrier)

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