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Air Canada, TD Bank, CIBC, Visa reach $2.35 billion agreement to acquire Aeroplan

The current agreement was reportedly approved unanimously by Aimia’s board of directors

Aeroplan

Aeroplan-parent company Aimia has reportedly unanimously approved of a plan to sell the loyalty points program to an Air Canada-led consortium.

According to an August 21st, 2018 media release, a group comprised of Air Canada, TD Bank, CIBC and Visa is set to purchase Aimia’s loyalty points program for $450 million in cash.

The consortium will also assume approximately $1.9 billion in Aeroplan Miles liability, for a deal that totals approximately $2.35 billion.

“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 program launching in 2020, safeguarding their miles and providing convenience and value for millions of Canadians,” said Calin Rovinescu, president and CEO of Air Canada, in the same August 21st media release.

The news of Aimia’s approval of Air Canada’s acquisition offer comes almost three weeks after Aimia rejected Air Canada’s initial $2.25 billion takeover bid, announcing a partnership with Porter Airlines instead.

Now that Air Canada is set to reacquire the Aeroplan loyalty rewards program that was spun off into a separate company in 2002, the deal between Porter and Aimia seems to hang in limbo.

A spokesperson for Aeroplan told MobileSyrup via email that until a firm deal is signed between the Air Canada consortium and Aimia, “it is business as usual.”

“A deal with the Consortium was contemplated in the context of the recently announced deals with Porter, Flair Airlines and Air Transat and they obviously were only expected to come into play in 2020,” wrote Aeroplan, in an email to MobileSyrup.

Porter echoed Aeroplan’s sentiments, stating that the company won’t be able to comment unless the consortium “enters into a final definitive agreement with Aimia.”

“Porter Airlines is aware that Aimia has reached a preliminary agreement with the consortium led by Air Canada to acquire the Aeroplan loyalty program,” said Michael Deluce, executive vice president and chief commercial officer of Porter Airlines, in an email to MobileSyrup.

“Porter recognized from the outset that Aeroplan may be purchased prior to its agreement taking effect in July 2020.”

While Air Canada certainly seems to be in good spirits about its potential reacquisition of Aeroplan, research conducted by Toronto-based loyalty program Drop seems to suggest that Canadians are also keen on the deal.

According to a previously reported survey conducted by Drop, approximately 72 percent of respondents didn’t think that Aeroplan points would be worth collecting if Air Canada launched its own loyalty program once the Aeroplan-Air Canada contract expires in 2020.

Drop reportedly surveyed 1,515 people across Canada representing a variety of ages, education levels and other metrics.

Source: Air Canada

Update 21/08/2018 9:54am ET: Story updated with comment from Aeroplan and Porter Airlines.

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