Mobile payments company Monitise has made its first major acquisition, buying the US mobile payments business Clairmail.
The acquisition will be funded by the issue of new shares and values Clairmail at around $173m ($109m). The deal is subject to US regulatory and shareholder approval but, if granted, should be completed by the end of the 2012 financial year.
Monitise said the acquisition 'further enhances [its] position as the leader in mobile money globally'. The combined businesses provide monetary services to 13 million customers through the likes of Royal Bank of Scotland, Lloyds TSB and PNC Bank.
The enlarged business will have 600 staff across North America, Europe, the UK, Asia-Pacific, Africa and India. The Clairmail management team will work closely with its Monitise counterparts.Sales at Clairmail increased by 90% in its 2012 calendar year to $18m. The combined sales of both businesses are expected to be close to $100m. The EBITDA loss for the combined businesses was $43m (£28m) for its most recent calendar year. Before the end of next year, it expects the combined businesses EBITDA to break-even, with gross margins of more than 70% by June 2013.
Monitise Group CEO Alastair Lukies said: 'Combining Monitise and Clairmail substantially accelerates our already strong position in one of the world’s leading banking and payments market, namely the US. With a population of 314 million and over a 100% mobile phone penetration, it is anticipated that 111 million US consumers will be using mobile banking by 2016 while mobile commerce revenues are forecast to hit $31 billion in 2016. The future of payments, the internet, retail and social networking is all mobile.
'This deal is transformational for our customers, our team, our shareholders and our company. With the ongoing support of our strategic partners such as Visa and FIS we are perfectly placed to help our clients in the financial services industry defend and extend their position amid the seismic changes being unleashed by mobile.
'Pete [Daffern - Clairmail CEO] and his team have done an impressive job in building relationships, products and the overall Clairmail business which is very well respected in the US market. We look forward to welcoming them to the Monitise journey.'
Editor: Graeme Neill