NEWS23 August 2018

Air Canada to buy back Aeroplan from Aimia

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CANADA – A consortium led by Air Canada is to acquire Aimia’s Aeroplan loyalty business in a cash deal worth $450m.

Air canada plane_crop

The airline has partnered with The Toronto-Dominion Bank, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce and Visa Canada to buy back Aeroplan, the loyalty business it launched in 1984 as an incentive programme for frequent flyers.

Aeroplan was spun off as a wholly owned subsidiary of Air Canada in 2002, and eventually sold to Aimia.

The purchase price of $450m in cash includes the assumption of approximately $1.9bn of Aeroplan Miles liability. The agreement has been approved in principle by Aimia’s board of directors on the recommendation of its committee of independent directors, with the company’s largest shareholder, Mittleman Brothers, agreeing to vote in favour of the transaction.

The acquisition is subject to Aimia shareholder and regulatory approvals, among other conditions. The consortium will also need to complete credit card loyalty programme agreements for participation in Air Canada’s new loyalty programme launching in 2020, further details of which have not been disclosed.

Calin Rovinescu, president and chief executive of Air Canada, said on behalf of the consortium: "We are pleased to see that an agreement in principle has been reached as Aeroplan members can continue to earn and redeem with confidence. This transaction, if completed, should produce the best outcome for all stakeholders, including Aeroplan Members, as it would allow for a smooth transition to Air Canada’s new loyalty programme launching in 2020, safeguarding their miles and providing convenience and value for millions of Canadians.”