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Monitise takes £18.5m hit through sale of MyVoucherCodes

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Discount site MyVoucherCodes has been sold for the second time in three years, with price comparison website GoCompare the latest to acquire it.

Set up in 2006 by Mark Pearson, who exited the business through its sale to Monitise in 2014, MyVoucherCodes is forecast to generate revenues of £11.8m, EBITDA of £4.1m and profit before tax of £4m for the 12 month period ending 31 December 2017.

The divestment by Monitise marks the first deal since the business was sold for only £70m to Fiserv through a deal which completed in September 2017. Three years previously Monitise had a market capitalisation of £1bn.

According to a statement from GoCompare, the acquisition is expected to be earnings accretive in 2018 on an “underlying basis”.

Matthew Crummack, CEO of GoCompare, said: “We are making strong progress towards our ambition to become the ‘go-to’ place for savvy savers to find great deals, and for service providers to reach and acquire customers.

“I am looking forward to MyVoucherCodes playing a valuable role within the group and providing us with the potential to help even more people, more often.”

In an interview with Real Business back in 2015, MyVoucherCodes founder Pearson said he founded the business from his bedroom with only £300.

Pearson had trained as a chef and worked at Claridge’s Hotel in London, among other places, but his interest lay in developing his own business and, in particular, something that could be scaled up. He regards scalability and the potential to replicate the product and grow as essential for building a successful business.

Speaking then, he said: “I’d often see my mum cutting coupons out to use at the shop, so I was always conscious of the need to save money.”

“The turning point was when I was buying a train ticket once. I spotted the ‘voucher code’ box that we’re all so familiar with now and it hit me – nobody else was collating voucher codes in the UK.”

GoCompare was subject to its own takeover bid in November 2017 when fellow London Stock Exchange-listed business Zoopla Property Bid attempted to buy it for nearly £500m.

Peter Wood, chairman at GoCompare, said of the offer: “The board believes that Zoopla Property Group’s proposals fundamentally undervalued GoCompare’s prospects and therefore we unanimously and unequivocally rejected them.

“We strongly believe that GoCompare can deliver superior shareholder value as an independent company. We are all excited by GoCompare’s continued evolution as an entrepreneurial, innovation-focused company with the ability to save people everywhere time and money.”

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